'How To Style a Monk Shoe' by Martell Campbell & Donya-Patrice
The monk strap, a lucid alternative to styles inundated with laces, was thought to have first been worn as early as the 11th century by monks who needed a shoe which was simple yet sturdy and long lasting. Fast forward many centuries and, today, the monk strap is the picture of sartorial elegance, a firm fashion favourite and one of this season's most coveted trends.
Style experts, bloggers and designers Martell Campbell and Donya-Patrice are regulars to the best dressed street style lists for the likes of GQ, Elle and Facehunter to name a few. With their quintessential British style and panache we asked them to style our men and women's monk strap designs, including Offida, Rotella and, women's favourite, Basta.
Intent on gaging how our monk strap shoes worked against the colours and textures of various outfits, Martell praised the Offida for its versatility: "My inspiration behind the styling was based around how to wear a monk strap shoe casually and formally. It was interesting to see how well each of the styles complimented the mixture of dark and neutral hues which are essential to my overall style."
Styling our women's double monk strap shoe, Basta, Donya-Patrice was inspired by a feminine take on debonair menswear, with the idea of creating a "smart yet casual look for both colours." She was most impressed that the styles didn't "veer the outfit from looking funky."
What a year 2012 has been...
Backstage at our SS13 campaign shoot
Alex Beer was our model for the shoot - we think he wears our new collection very well!
On such a nice day we made sure we enjoyed the sunshine too!
Our SS13 collection is already coming in so keep an eye out for emails and offers.
This Week's Roundup
St. Crispin's Day - The Patron Saint of Cobblers
There are two accounts of what happened to Saint Crispin and his brother Saint Crispianus, but this is the one we like the most!
They were the sons of a noble Romano-Briton family whose father was killed on the orders of the Roman emperor living in Canterbury, Kent at the time. To make sure Crispin and Crispianus didnt meet the same fate as their father their mother sent them to London to seek an apprenticeship.
But the brothers never made it to London. Just like Oliver Sweeney, Crispin and Crispianus came across a shoemaker's workshop in Faversham, Kent on their travels where they decided to stay.
They are now the patron saints of cobblers, tanners, and leather workers and even have a pub named after them - "Crispin and Crispianus" in Strood, Kent!
Spring Summer 13 Press Preview
For our Spring Summer 13 collection we've taken all that we love about summer; the lighter shades, fresher tones and simple patterns to create a plethora of colourful casuals and formals in suede and leather.
With interesting additions to the core collection: monk shoes, tasselled trainers and a new swimwear range we had lots to showcase to the Press on 18th October at our Conduit Street store in London.
We've used the Fin Project XL sole on a large part of the collection to create a lightweight yet durable range.
Choose between single and double strap monk shoes - a first for Oliver Sweeney.
We've also given a colour injection to our cup sole trainers...
...and we also introduced the 'Gentleman's Collection' to the press. The collection features Oxfords, Derbys and Monk Shoes in black and brown colourways.
London Shoeshine was polishing people's shoes during the event and we handed out souvenir Oliver Sweeney branded rock sticks too - a nice little reminder of a great Press Day!
Oliver Sweeney Meets: World Cup winning England Rugby Player Will Greenwood
How do you walk your own path?
Neurotically with a great deal of stress! I recently watched Michael Vaughans programme on what professional sportsmen do after they retire. I think anyone whos been a professional sportsman sees that fear of retiring at 34. Everyone thinks wow youre so lucky to retire at 34. Yes youve had a great time, youve played in front of 90,000 people and had your name chanted by people, but suddenly its like okay I need to get a job.
What have you been doing since you retired from rugby?
My works been very media based. I work for Sky and The Daily Telegraph and then I do 10 to 12 days for companies like Aviva, JP Morgan, Betfair and Canterbury. Ive written a couple of books too. So the real answer to how do I walk my own path is with great enjoyment when I go home and lock the door and Ive got the wife and three kids and I can just enjoy the day.
Whose shoes would you like to be in?
It was always Take That. Then I became a bit of a Westlife fan. Id like to be the lead on Flying Without Wings! JLS have now taken over. Basically I would have liked to have been in a boy band and done a concert at Wembley in front of 80,000 people.
Are you a bit of a singer then?
No Im totally tone deaf! Thats why I go to Tiger Tiger, rent a karaoke booth and sing like a muppet. To me it sounds great though!
Weve seen your collection of Oliver Sweeney shoes which is your favourite?
I slightly ruined my favourite pair and now you dont make them anymore. They had a black toe with a white bit in the middle and a black back. I usually use your polish but I cleaned them badly - there was some old black polish left on the brush. I still have them though and wear them for weddings. Clearly the England shoes from 2003 with the rose on the back are pride of place. I reckon Ive had those reheeled four times and properly reheeled by Oliver Sweeney so that shows how much Ive worn them.
Why do you have the relationship with OS in the first place?
We were introduced to Oliver Sweeney by Clive Woodward when he took over England. It was all about changing our mindset and feeling special. In the old days we used to stay in Travelodges and the kit was rubbish; you just werent treated as though you were an international athlete. Clive changed that. We started staying at Pennyhill Park, we were introduced to Hackett and then Oliver Sweeney came in with the shoes. I probably got my first pair of shoes in 1997 or 1998 when Woody first took over. Ever since then I genuinely think that other than a trainer Ive never worn a different shoe and if I see anyone with a tatty pair of shoes I tell them to go to Oliver Sweeney immediately!
Why do you like them so much?
They feel great, theyre very cool. Sometimes Im a size 11, sometimes a 12, sometimes a 13, but once I find the right size it fits like a glove. Theyre so well made and as you can see from my collection I still have shoes from 1997.
Youve talked about the different things youve been doing since you retired which do you prefer?
Theyre very different challenges. The Telegraph is a blank sheet of paper every Monday for 40 weeks of the year plus extra articles. Its 60,000 words a year and youve got to be different and interesting and youve got to have people coming back when it comes to the end of the season I like people writing in asking wheres Greenwood? So its that mental challenge to maintain the support levels from your readers. The adrenalin challenge is live TV stuff so that would be Sky. At the end of the Heineken Cup final I was out on the pitch interviewing Man of The Match Brian ODriscoll. The speakers were going out to 90,000 people in the stadium and it was also going out to all the countries taking part. If you start to think about whats going on you start panicking a little bit, but that also makes you feel very alive.
Does that give you the same sort of kick you used to feel on the pitch?
It does - all sports people try and find something that gives them that buzz without playing and live TV certainly does that. Sky are great to me they give me big and tough challenges and its sink or swim. We dont do media training - we just get on with it.
And what about School of Hard Knocks?
Hard Knocks is great. We do that for three months of each year where we go to inner city areas. Weve done North Wales, Liverpool and more recently London. We spent three months with unemployed guys whod never played rugby before. We turned them into a rugby team, got their CVs sorted and then got them job interviews. We try to give them a leg up in life, give them a second chance.
Talking of young guys playing do you think theres a danger of going pro too young?
Thats a great question. Rugby wise I think so. The problem is theres always the exception to the rule. Johnny Wilkinson came through at 19. There are guys that started playing at 18 so a lot of 16 and 17 year olds see that and go after it. They believe they can be the next one. In reality there are 400,000 kids that play rugby and theres one Wilkinson. These young guys get invited into Academies and think they are going to be the next Tuilaghi but then they get cut at 21 or 22 and theyve missed the best three years of their life. My genuine recommendation to most kids coming through is stay at your local club enjoy yourself. If youre that good theyll pick you up and put you straight in the first team which is very different from being in an Academy. Go to college, go to uni, live a little bit - rugby will still be there.
Youve just released On Rugby how did that come about?
A book yes! Lawrence Dallaglio has a publisher called Simon and Shoester so he introduced me to them and we decided it would be good to write two books. The first one is an amalgamation of all the work Ive been doing for The Telegraph for the last eight years. Ive probably done over half a million words for them in that length of time so a book was meant to pick out the best bits and adopt a storyline to put the different chapters together.
And finally whats the story behind your nicknames Shaggy and Twigman?
Twigman was between 12 and 15. Then I matured and became Stick Man as I put on a bit of weight. I would have like to have become The Log but as you can see I am still The Stick! Shaggy was from virtually the first day at Durham University so anyone who knows me from Durham its still Shaggy I had floppy curtains and couldnt grow a beard. Im a complete coward too so Shaggy was the perfect fit. Then I have sort of become Rodney Trotter as times gone on. The Welsh nicknamed me Nicholas Lyndhurst in 2003 so I get a lot of Rodneys when Im in Cardiff!
Oliver Sweeney Meets: Jeweller Joy Everley
We've just launched our beautiful Sterling Silver accessories range that we created with jeweller Joy Everley's help so we took a trip down to Newburgh Street just off Carnaby Street to meet her properly.
How did you first get into making jewellery?
People always ask that! Its been my life for over 30 years so I can really hardly say. Ive just always done it. From a tiny child threading beads up to now making diamonds and precious pieces.
Youve been on Newburgh Street for 14 years - how has the road changed?
Its stayed the same in that its cool and interesting and attracts individuals looking for something different to buy, what has changed is that there are more corporate brands. There used to be more independents but the corporates have jumped on the bandwagon.
How do you differentiate yourself from those bigger corporate brands and make Joy Everley special?
No one else sells our jewellery so far. There arent many jewellers who design and make only their own brand and we dont advertise on the side of buses!
Where do you take your inspiration for your collections from?
I find my ideas come from the customers. Even though I dont like to work in the shop as much as I used to I would hate to not do it all because youre working with the customers. We sell things individually pendants, chains and bracelets our customers will put together their own combinations and they will come up with things you would never have thought of so from that you get an idea of trends.
Oliver Sweeneys latest collaboration with you features little sterling silver cufflinks how did that come about?
Sarah Cooper (Oliver Sweeneys Tattooist-in-Chief!) and I have known each other for a long time. Shes a fan of Joy Everley and she had an idea that shed like to have something in the accessories range to complement her tattooed leather pieces. So we got chatting in the pub and I immediately knew what she was talking about. I came up with some ideas and then it just grew from there. We realised the things you sell in Oliver Sweeney lend themselves to having precious accessories that also relate to what youre already selling.
Were you familiar with our Anatomical Last and brogues?
Yes! I love brogues!
How did you recreate our intricate details on the miniature cufflinks?
Thanks to Emily Jacobs Oliver Sweeneys Accessories buyer. She is very meticulous. It really was such a pleasure to work with another designer because we were just hitting off each other the whole time. I knew the practical limitations and could also think of ideas knowing what we could do and how small and detailed we could go. Emily knew what she wanted and by pointing out the details that are unique to your Oliver Sweeney shoes we were able to reproduce that but in tiny form!
Where was the collection made?
The silver collection is all made in Thailand. Its a factory weve worked with for 20 years. Luckily I go out every year to visit them with my new collection. Weve become friends. Its a big operation. They mostly work for French designers and fashion designers because they also make costume jewellery.
In terms of the Joy Everley brand are you planning any more collaborations?
I would love to. It stretches me and gives me the chance to go in a different direction. My collaboration with Oliver Sweeney has been really fun.
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