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If our shoes are not for you, that's okay

Footwear is very personal ... and one of the best things about being able to do events and shows is that you get to see people's responses to our designs. We'll often take some concept shoes as well for reaction ... and the feedback has helped to determine our production styles. But we also know there are lots of other great shoemakers out there. Our approach is that there is no point in reproducing them for the sake of it ... if they do something well, then we should all appreciate it, and see it as an opportunity to create something fresh. And if...

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Parliamentary privilege

Govan story

Parliamentary privilege

The people we've encountered in setting up Govan have made us smile, and given us plenty of stories. This is among the highlights. In setting up the business, I'd been invited to a reception at the Houses of Parliament. The badge of the person next to me said "David Pun - Director, Harvey Nichols". Exactly the sort of retailer I really wanted to talk to. He was the owning family's board representative. We met frequently. I showed him the evolving styles, and he provided useful feedback which I recognised with the occasional lunch. One day, he said we were off to the Ritz...

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Choosing the leathers

manufacturing

Choosing the leathers

  Even for those who know what they're looking for, the choice of leathers is mind-boggling. For the uppers, we tend to start with a concept and a colour swatch, then narrow it down, paying particular attention to the quality of the fabric, the dye and how it will wear. Reliability of supply is also important - we want to ensure that every pair looks as good as the first.   We are looking for leathers that have consistency in their colour, with few imperfections. This makes it easier for the "clicker" who is the person in the shoemaking process responsible...

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The last post - the first step in making your shoes

how-to manufacturing

The last post - the first step in making your shoes

You'll thank the Govan last. For this is the shape that we use to form the shoe ... we wanted an elegant shape that slims the foot (even on a wider fitting). Once we're happy, we have them made at a specialist last masker in Northampton. In the past, lasts were carved out of wood, and one of the key skills of the lastmaker was to scale an original design to different sizes - a much more complex task than simply reducing proportionately in all directions Even now, last making is still a craft. Just the material has changed to a durable plastic....

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What's in a name?

What's in a name?

Govan was one of the names of Gawain, a heroic knight of the Round Table who appears in art and literature in English, Celtic and European traditions right up to the present day. Perhaps nowadays not as famous as his peers Lancelot and Galahad, Gawain was one of the greatest knights and the nephew of King Arthur himself. He is most famous for the legend where he rises to the challenge laid down by the Green Knight, and was the hero of mediaeval tales of the court. These suggest that fifteen hundred years ago in the court of King Arthur he was known...

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