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Gentlemen's Footwear: An Introduction
Carmina shoes. EG Cappelli and Drake’s London ties. Finamore shirts.
When Young Yoo first contacted me a few months ago to tell me about the online store he was opening, his planned lineup read like a grail status short list of classic menswear brands. Just as compelling as the planned inventory was Young’s motivation: at 5’6” with 5.5 UK feet, he specifically wanted to expand the options for high-quality menswear available to short men in the US.
And while there’s much for men under 5’9” to get excited about with today’s launch of GentlemensFootwear.com, Young still has plenty in store to intrigue those who are taller, larger-footed, or—with free worldwide shipping—outside the US.
Take those Carminas, for example. Gentlemen’s Footwear has about a half-dozen competitively-priced stock models, ranging from a conservative brown half-brogue to a more daring, yet no less tasteful, navy double monk strap. Sizing in the first run ranges from 5.5 UK (6.5 US) to 9 UK (10 US), but in a few weeks Young will put in another order that will include sizes up to 12 UK. If you see something you’re interested in and don’t see your size available, be sure to shoot Young an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to have your size included in the next order.
In the midst of launching his business, the Los Angeles-based Young was kind enough to answer a few questions from me about his goals and motivation. I’ve edited our back-and-forth for clarity.
In the interest of full disclosure, Young offered me a care package of a tie, Saphir shoe care products, and an Abbeyhorn shoe horn as a token of appreciation for the work I do at This Fits. He asked for absolutely nothing in exchange, not even hinting at a request for a post. I volunteered to cover the launch of his store, as I’m excited about what he’s doing and, well, he seems like a genuinely good guy.
Aliotsy: You first reach out to me because I write quite often about dressing shorter men, and Gentlemen’s Footwear was born out of your frustration with finding clothes and shoes in your size. Can you share that story?
Young: Being 5’6” and wearing a UK 5.5 in footwear, it has always been an arduous and frustrating process finding US retailers that carried my size. I was aware of a few international shops that stocked smaller sizes, but I didn’t want to risk ordering from overseas, either. Finding quality size 14.5 dress shirts was an even more disappointing task. After multiple frustrating attempts, I began thinking about the extremely limited choices that smaller men like myself are constrained to, and took it upon myself to think of a solution – cue the inception of Gentlemen’s Footwear!
Young’s a dapper guy in his own right. Here he is with his dog Cookie.
Aliotsy: Your stock list for launch includes some highly-regarded names in menswear. Can you share what you’ll be offering?
I’m very excited to offer Carmina Shoemaker from Mallorca, Spain. As many of the readers may already know, Carmina offers Goodyear-welted shoes that incorporate leathers from select tanneries, such as the storied Horween Tannery in Chicago. Carmina Shoemaker offers, in my humble opinion, top quality for its value and I am a huge fan myself. Gentlemen’s Footwear will also be offering Saphir shoe care products, Finamore Napoli dress shirts from Italy, Drake’s London ties and pocket squares, and last but not least, E.G. Cappelli neckwear from Italy.
The rest of the interview after the jump, plus pictures of Young’s stock Carminas and a few MTO shoes…