PARIS — J.M. Weston is going back to its roots.
The French luxury cobbler is launching a new, sportier line for fall called Country Gents based on designs from the Thirties and Forties by Eugène Blanchard, whose father Edouard founded the house in 1891.
“The idea was to revisit those styles, which are inspired by golf, hunting and horseback riding, all essentially aristocratic sports, but make them more outdoorsy,” explained the brand’s artistic director Michel Perry.
Perry reworked the traditional hunting derby in grained calf’s leather with six eyelets, and enforced the wing-tip golf shoe with double stitching and artfully woven threads along the perforation lines. The latter also comes in a more robust ankle-boot version equipped with the house’s extra-resistant ridgeway sole.
Perry said he wanted “to stay in the aristo-chic theme, in keeping with the heaviness of the silhouette,” which was especially true for a hiking shoe with its oiled calf leather surface.
The five styles, retailing for between 590 euros and 790 euros, or $796 and $1,066 at current exchange, are done in various shades of brown ranging from chocolate to camel, black and two shades of deep green. All are available in customized versions through the brand’s special-order department which, according to Perry, has experienced strong growth in 2013 and continues to grow this year.
J.M. Weston, which last fall launched a women’s line and opened its sixth Paris store on Rue Saint-Honoré with a new interior concept influenced by chic Parisian apartments, is in the midst of renovating other existing boutiques, with its Boulevard de la Madeleine location in Paris and Geneva to be completed this year, as well as its store on the Champs-Élysées in 2015.
The brand currently operates 40 points of sale, mostly in Europe and Asia.