Alden x Brooks Brothers Color #8 Unlined Shell Cordovan LHS
Anyone who has been following Alden for a while has come to know that Alden does special makeups for various stores. There was no partnership between retailer and the factory quite like the relationship between Alden and Brooks Brothers. Brooks Brother’s relationship with Alden went back decades and had lots of history. This relationship yielded many exclusive models (and Lasts) that aren’t replicated for other retailers. You could argue which model is the most iconic from Alden for Brooks Brothers, but I would proclaim, that the pinnacle of this relationship was their Unlined Shell Cordovan LHS. Yeah, their Tassel Loafers with the Foxxing on the heel is awesome, and they had their own custom Lasts like the Snap Last, but the Unlined Shell Cordovan LHS required a higher level of craftsmanship, was the most unique, and required the finest of Shells.
The most interesting statement in that introduction is that the Unlined Shell Cordovan LHS required the finest of Shells. Well, what does that mean? We are typically thinking of the finest of Shells as the Shells that are clear enough (doesn’t have major blemishes in the hide) so that they can be made into a lighter exotic shade, such as Whiskey or Ravello. But these shoes required Shells to be thicker, so that it would provide the structural integrity necessary to uphold the design. As time progressed, Alden found that they had to start setting aside the thicker Shells for these models, much as how Horween sets aside the clearer hides to make into their lightest shades.
Unfortunately, because of this and the relationship between Alden and Brooks Brothers fading over time, these once readily available beauties are now becoming as hard to get as an exotic.
So, what are these shoes? Well, they are Alden’s truly classic Leisure Hand-sewn Loafer, which is a classic Penny Loafer design, which features hand skin-stitching along the apron. They are made out of Horween’s iconic Color #8 Shell Cordovan. Color #8, which is sometimes referred to as Cordovan, is a beautiful Burgundy shade of Shell Cordovan. These shoes feature a single leather outsole with a Mahogany Edge and of course have zero lining. This can yield a beautiful Horween stamp, and this pair doesn’t disappoint. These loafers are extremely comfortable because, they lack lining and readily conforms to the shape of your foot. Overall, these are amazing shoes that are worth hunting down.