LA Dairy: Barker Black Opens in LA; The Most Beautiful Shoes in Los Angeles?

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When guys are willing to have their shoes shipped nearly 2,500 miles, a brand takes note to open up a store local to their demanding client. That's what happened to Barker Black in New York, so they have opened up a store in Los Angeles on North Robertson Boulevard. 

The brand is a highly sought after, 5 year old, offshoot of the England based footwear powerhouse Barkers who's own history spans 130 years. Yet as you can see, and judging by the price point - $500 to over $1000 - Barker Black are implementing the same traditional techniques to produce the same high quality finish that Barkers is famed for. 

Although there is similarities to the production, this offshoot is a far cry from its parent brand, as these images show below - the Lord's, Sir's and gentlemen of Jermyn Street will be screaming at the sight of a scull and cross bone perforated pattern on their brogues. Yet these have the right flare and difference that makes these perfect for well dressed rebels who are used to shoes that are fit for Kings. 

Lavenum Boot - $1025

With so many high end heritage brands stocked in the city, particularly in departments stores in Beverly Hills or West Hollywood, it is refreshing to see a stand alone store that is a destination. Snuggled very nicely on North Robertson surrounded by luxury house boutiques and some of the edgiest labels on the West Coast, the store is only open Wednesday to Sunday to the public with the other days by appointment only. This exclusive access, I think, is a refreshing change because so often I have lost interest in products in stores when I am kept waiting for too long as a result of over eager browsers. 

The shoes are made of Italian and French calf leather which are crafted by artisans who have worked for Barkers for 30 years or more. But aside from the beautiful leather, the sleek and refined shape is achieved by keeping the last on for 15 to 30 days and hung from the factory rafters in wire cages to ensure they retain their individual and stunning shape. 

Having the unmistakable skull and cross bones emblem emblazoned on their accessories and shoes may seem a little punk rock to some, but it has a deeper heritage too it. The company, although new to the world of high-end men's shoes, looks to British history for its inspiration for this has roots in the military. The core collection is inspired by the fearless and highly regarded 17th Lancers; an ancient regiment of guardsmen who's emblem was the skull and cross bones with the moto '...or glory' implying death or glory. I think this is such a great story behind an incredible brand who could have gone down the classic pirate root which is so over used and marketed as something raw, edgy or different yet retains the same feel. 

Admittedly they are expensive however, they say well made pair shoes will last you a life time yet I would want to continue buying more. I not only see them as an investment but as a statement because I can not remember the last time I saw a pair of shoes that combined classic Northamptonshire craftsmanship with flare and modern design. 

Haraboro Cap Toe - $850

Moxham Loafer - $775

Archdale Wing Tip - $850

Euston Monk Strap - $850

Barker Black is situated at 450 North Robertson Boulevard, Los Angeles and is open from Wednesday through Saturday - 11am - 7pm; Sunday - 11am - 5pm; Monday through Tuesday for Private Appointments. 

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