George Cleverley - Bespoke Shoemaker


George Cleverley (pictured above) came into the world on August 10th, 1898, born into a lineage of shoemakers in London. He moved to Colchester, Essex, with his family at the age of 2, and spent his early years engaged in the shoe trade, peddling bootlaces and polish. Upon completion of his shoemaking apprenticeship at the age of 15, he enlisted in the Royal British Army during World War I, later serving at a British army boot factory in Calais, France, following his stint in London.


Tuczek, Clifford Street, Mayfair (c.1930)

In 1920, Cleverley began working for distinguished Austro-Hungarian shoemaker Nikolaus Tuczek in Mayfair's Clifford Street, where he devoted 38 years of his working life. The company shod the feet of some of the most important people walking the planet at the time - including former British prime minister Winston Churchill... his Tuczek monogrammed slippers were sold for almost £40,000 at auction in 2021, alongside a balloon glass that fetched £18,000. 


Winston Churchill's monogrammed slippers and balloon glass

In 1958, Cleverley ventured out on his own, founding G.J. Cleverley on Cork Street, Mayfair, London. Cleverley attracted a clientele comprising notable figures from around the globe, including world leaders, industrial magnates, and luminaries of the arts and high society. Amongst the famous names who put their feet in his hands were Rudolph Valentino, Clarke Gable, Gary Cooper, Humphrey Bogart, Lawrence Olivier and, of course, Sir Winston Churchill.


The Cleverley Chisel-Toe

Cleverley became renowned for creating the elegant, chisel-toed shoe that epitomised his exceptional artistry. He passed away in 1991, just shy of his 93rd birthday, yet remained dedicated to his work virtually until the end, leaving behind a legacy of unparalleled craftsmanship. 


George Cleverley with British actor and dedicated client, Terence Stamp 

In 1978, George Cleverley handpicked his longstanding apprentices, John Carnera and George Glasgow, to carry forward his legacy in the business, recognising their shared commitment to the art of shoemaking. Together, George and John boast a combined expertise exceeding 100 years in the realm of bespoke shoemaking.


Messrs. George Glasgow Snr. and Jnr.

Today, the company remains a family affair, guided by Mr. George Glasgow Jnr., serving as CEO and Creative Director and dividing his time between Los Angeles and London, whilst his father, Mr. Glasgow Snr., is based in the company's Mayfair premises, overseeing bespoke production. 


Cleverley shoes hit the red carpet with Sylvester Stallone and family

The Glasgows have certainly maintained the Cleverley tradition of looking after the well-heeled and famous celebrities of the day. From rock stars to royalty, their current crop of high-profile clients include Hollywood actors Sylvester Stallone, Sir Daniel Day-Lewis, Kenneth Branaugh, Mickey Rourke and Jason Statham.


Jason Statham suited and booted


In 1973, divers off England’s Plymouth Sound found the wreck of an eighteenth century brigantine that sank in 1786 with a cargo of reindeer hides. They had been cured in baths of rye or oat flour and yeast, hand embossed with a varied cross-hatching before being soaked in wood liquor, hand curried and then soaked in seal oil and birch tan oil. This leather is literally a piece of history, and was acquired by G.J. Cleverley to make into bespoke shoes and accessories.

Long sold out, it is the stuff of sartorial legend. 


King Charles III in 1786 Russian Hide bespoke shoes by G.J. Cleverley

In addition to their bespoke shoemaking activity, G.J. Cleverley offer a magnificent range of ready-to-wear shoes that carry the distinctive chisel-toe design created by the celebrated founder of the business.


Click here to peruse collection

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