Awl & Sundry

It’s time to have faith in your sole. Awl & Sundry the made-to-order shoemaker finally launches today 24th March.

Who says you can’t get exactly what you want…..If you don’t believe that Awl & Sundry is here to prove otherwise.

Awl & Sundry is a new shoe brand based in New York, which is the first completely customisable made-to-order men’s shoe company.

I had the great pleasure of speaking with Nikunj the founder of Awl & Sundry who believes shoemaking to be an art that requires a certain amount of craftsmanship.

We talk a little about the inspiration behind the company.

This is a man I can tell likes to dress well, coming from the financial services industry he has always prided himself on looking sharp. However he quickly realised there were only 2 types of shoes in the market:

  1. High end bespoke shoes costing upwards of $2000, which as you can imagine, not everyone can afford.

  2. Mass produced brands created on assembly lines, using corrected or flaux leather.

Nikunj then saw an opportunity to bring the customer something in between, which is ‘Bespoke quality products at the price of a mass produced brand’.

A & S uses a process called Handsewn Goodyear Welt.

Please click here for a video link on how the shoes are made.

Awl & Sundry is not only a brand, but a collaborative platform through which individuals build their own brand. They empower guys to express themselves through the medium responsible for 99% of their first impressions, their fresh kicks.

While most shoe companies offer a handful of styles in a few select colours and the “normal” sizes, A & S are one of the pioneers in delivering the offline, made-to-order model, online.

They use cutting-edge 3D modeling, which offers unparalleled customization. Designers, as we like to call our members, can select:

  • Style (Oxford, Derby, Monks, Loafer)

  • Shape

  • Design features (Toe, Vamp, Eyestays, Back)

  • Shade of leather (29 in all)

  • Texture of leather (Calf plain, Calf suede, Calf grain, Ostrich, Alligator)

  • Laces (21 variations)

  • Stitching colors (21 variations)

With the above options, they have more than 2 billion design permutations in total. Moreover, their model allow their designers to view their personalized shoes in real-time.

There are hundreds of steps that go into crafting the perfect shoe for you, here is a snapshot of just a few:

The shoes generally take 4 weeks to ship, with a 30 day exchange period.

Prices range from about $350 – $1650 depending on the type of leather you choose.

They are currently only available in the US but looking to expand at some point in the future.

So for those of you in the area “What are you waiting for?”

Here’s a link to the Awl & Sundry website, why don’t you take a look and have the possibility of the below:

As always comments and feedback welcome.


Half Naked Apparel

From Rock to Roll….out. Speaking to one half of the band ‘Titans & Kings’ he tells me how they evolved from being in a rock band to creating a music company and a brand for their fans.

The range is inspired by Tattoos, music and bold designs, They wanted to create clothing that their fans will want to wear as much as they do!

‘Wild Sould Tee’
In discussing the range he mentions his favourite piece at the moment is probably the Wild Sould Baseball jersey but the original Never Giving Up The Fight Tee will always have a special place as it was part of our launch collection.
2D8A3178 web
Creating a brand isn’t always easy and he is able to highlight some of the struggles you face as an up and coming designer. I put the questions to him below, Enjoy the read.
Ascension: What struggles do/did you face when creating all your apparel?
Half Naked: Ah man, it’s tough out there 😉 We’re still relatively new and building our fan base / awareness takes up most of our time. There are loads of great indie brands out there and seeing them succeed is the perfect inspiration to never give up.
Ascension: What do you enjoy most about being a designing your range?
Half Naked: We actually outsource designs and doing the research for that is awesome! There’s nothing better than checking out a load of artists, finding one we love and working with them to create something unique.
Ascension: Do you have any advice for upcoming/emerging designers?
Half Naked: Keep doing what you love and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Ascension: If you could sum up what it takes to design a range in one word what would it be?
Half Naked: Pride.
Ascension: What does the future hold for Half Naked Apparel?
Half Naked: Hopefully a much larger and varied summer collection and ultimately more involvement with the music scene that the brand was born out of – the Half Naked Stage at Slam Dunk Festival has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
‘Never Give up the fight Tee’
Definitely keep an eye out for these guys, I have no doubt they will go from strength to strength.
You can find out more at their site here: Half Naked Go check it out.