Working for Unionmade in San Francisico for the last year has been a wonderful experience. I have gotten to be a part of some amazing things with Todd and Carl and the fellas, but none as exciting to me as opening up the first box of Aldens that I helped design. Working with Todd and Nate Humble back in February in our first big brainstorm was a blast. So many details to go over and so many steps to complete. Now with the first shipments arriving, It’s really cool to be able to finally see the ideas come to life.
The Natural Chromexcel Indy:
When those early pictures of the plain toe blucher in Horween’s mythical new leather starting going around the internet, everybody wanted to get a piece of the action. The sales reps brought their swatches around and the retailers started making up their orders. I wanted in.
I had known for a while that I wanted to do an Indy shoe of some sort. I guess I’m just a sucker for the stitching. I had been inspired by Tom Park’s Hawaiian Stomper but I knew I couldn’t do anything that was too close to that so I was stuck about what leather to use. When I saw that picture I knew. Natural.
Perfect for wearing with jeans, Natural Chromexcel really has that substantial weight and texture that lends itself to a heavy looking shoe or boot. I felt a hefty work-shoe could sit nicely in the mix of Aldens we have at the shop and ultimately one that I would want to own. I love the color too. Nobody really knows how the Natural Chromexcel will look as it ages but I sure am looking forward to finding out.
Seeing them now and how all the details work together, I really wouldn’t change a thing. The heel unit is a little different than what I expected. I was hoping for one of those vintage looking Goodyear numbers or the rare starburst version, but this new one will do just fine. It’s a Vibram slab, so I imagine the quality is there. I asked Alden VP Bob Clark about it and he described how sources of specialty parts for shoes sometimes dry up. The demand for them here in America just isn’t there anymore.
I’ve had a hand in many more designs since then and I’m looking forward to many more, but this pair will always be special. Available now at Unionmade