- British Art & Design
- Fashion Design
Luxury British Brands
The company is one of the most successful luxury footwear manufacturers and was acquired almost two decades ago by the prestigious Prada Group. Church’s offers to a discerning clientele products that reflect the elegance of classical English style, but also modern high-quality collections.
Its rich heritage also serves as inspiration for its present collections, including the contemporary rendition of the iconic Shanghai shoe. The style was created by Church’s in 1929 for Englishmen living in the Far East and became one of the most innovative products that redefined men’s footwear.
Long Lasting British Brands
Church’s was established almost 150 years ago in a modest workshop in Northampton, but the shoemaking craft was passed down from generation to generation long before the company was officially set up.
Stone Church, the founder’s great-grandfather, was born in 1675 in Northampton, a city renowned for its footwear industry. He taught his family the craft of shoemaking and each generation continued the tradition, passing down and perfecting the skills. Thomas Church decided to share them with the world.
By the end of the 19th century, Church’s was exporting quality English shoes to other European countries and had the intention to reach the American market. In 1907, the company made the first deliveries to the U.S. and Canada.
Popular / Iconic
Some of the most iconic British shoe styles are the Oxfords and the Brogues. The Oxford shoe was first worn in Scotland and Ireland and The Brogue is derived from the Old Irish word, brog (shoe). The Oxfords, named after the famous English University, are also occasionally called Balmorals, after Balmoral Castle. The names also vary by country.
Multinational British Brands
Church’s began its international expansion through exports at the end of the 19th century. In 1921, opened the first boutique in London and a few years later the company already had another store in New York City. The expansion continued with branches in Italy, Japan, Hong Kong and numerous other locations in Europe, Asia and the US.
Awarded British Brands
The company had many notable achievements over the years. Among its first breakthroughs was introducing the innovative concept of the “Adaptable” model for right and left shoes, available in various widths, materials and even half sizes. This was a true revolutionary idea at the end of the 19th century and William, the founder’s son, was the one who made this possible. In 1881, Church’s Trademarked “Adapted” boot won the Gold Medal at the Great Exhibition.
In 1919, the company became a founding member of the British Shoe and Allied Trades Research Association (SATRA) and through this partnership, the Northampton Technical College was founded in 1925.
HRH the Queen Elizabeth II visited Church’s in 1965, the company receiving the Queen’s Award to Industry for its successful export activity.
As one of the most respected shoemaking companies in the world, it’s only natural for Church’s to have many public personalities on the client list. Among them, former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, who has a "lucky pair" of Church's shoes that he wore to the question-and-answer sessions in Parliament.
Featured In The Media
The company has extensive media coverage, with publications like GQ or Vogue featuring its products. Church's shoes were also a great choice for the James Bond character, in Pierce Brosnan's and Daniel Craig’s interpretation.