Over the past few generations, many of the traditional details of shoe making have been dropped in favor or easier or more cost-effective means of making mass shoes; Barker Black has brought back many of these operations including the addition of wooden shanks. Specializing in the Goodyear Welted construction each pair of Barker Black shoes has over 200 hand operations and spends between 15 and 30 days on the last before being finished by hand.
A foundation of quality construction, craftsmanship and modern design is the launch pad for Barker Black. Barker Black shoes are created by a team of specialized craftsmen, many of whom have been working with the company over twenty years. Combing forgotten craftsmanship with a modern aesthetic; Barker Black raises the standards of excellence in design, materials, and construction.
The details are where Barker Black sets itself apart, from toe broguing, slender waists, and bespoke sole tacking, the result is sleek and modern. Every shoe is slightly unexpected, from a traditional loafer with bone hardware to designs best described as "Rock & Roll Chic"; everything at Barker Black is rethought with a modern perspective.
Specialized craftsmen are at the heart of Barker Black. The "Clickers" cut every piece of the pattern by hand using brass bound patterns, selecting only the finest grades of calf and suede void of imperfection. The soles of the shoes are not neglected, each pair is hand laquered and the waist of the soles are individually tacked by hand to feature the skull and crossbones logo, an old-fashioned Northampton technique reintroduced by Barker Black. Even the velvet slippers are embroidered by hand in the UK–no two are the same.
As with every quality pair of shoes, the creation of the last is the most important element, as it gives the foundation for the rest of the shoe. Our four lasts are amalgamations of old and new, the "Ashfield" last for example came from a pair of vintage bespoke lasts, the chiseled bubbled toe was painstakingly added by hand in a workshop in Northampton to give this last its uniquely modern look.
Whether spawned from something modern or antique, Barker Black shoes are designed to have a modern yet timeless feel. A rounder line here or a subtle play on proportion there is what gives Barker Black uppers a unique look. After the leather is cut and lasted, the finishing room sets about concocting the perfect finishing polish to achieve the most sophisticated look possible.