Q&A WITH SOCIAL AMBASSADOR AND FASHION PHOTOGRAPHER NICK ANDREWS

As part of our mission to make the world a more sociable place, we’re teaming up with men who not only excel in their field, but also expect more from their footwear due to the busy lives they lead.

From barbers to fashion photographers, street food entrepreneurs and mixologists, for those that are on their feet all day in fast-paced working environments, compromising on style, quality or comfort just isn’t an option.

This week, we’re catching up with photographer Nick Andrews in Kent. Recent clients of his include Evian, Sony, Bauer Media, MTV and Nintendo. His work has been published in The Guardian, The Independent, Vogue.com and Style.com

 

How did you get into what you’re doing today?

I bought my first camera at 18 and was taught to process films and print pictures by a friend. So I ALWAYS had a camera with me.

I loved Fashion magazines and Photography books and eventually decided that I’d like to pursue my hobby a bit more seriously. 6 years ago I completed a Masters Degree in Fashion Photography and ever since I’ve been a freelance photographer and not looked back.

 

What do you think makes you successful at what you do?

In this day and age I think you have to be quite adaptable. None of my jobs are ever the same. One day I could be shooting Diamonds in Milan and the next I could be shooting Crazy Golf on Regent Street. People want something original, creative and they want it as soon as you have shot it so you have to be speedy and on the ball.

 

How important is it to be sociable in your job?

Sometimes you just have to blend in, and then sometimes you need to start the party. Most of my work involves people from brands to celebrities to the public, so you have to be able to fit yourself to the situation. The biggest compliment is when you are told it was like having a friend taking the pictures, so I hope my ability to interact with people serves me well.

 

What inspires your style?

I like simplicity. White T-shirt, jeans and a great pair of boots (Anatomic & Co naturally).

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I get to shoot a lot of shows at London Collections: Men (LC:M), so I definitely get inspired by some of the London Designers showcasing at the events. I also love brands like APC, Sunspel and Margaret Howell clothes that look, feel great and last forever!

 

What do you look for in shoes?

Style and comfort are the main factors. I can be on my feet for a 12-hour day so I need a shoe that isn’t going to give me a head and foot ache at the end of the job.

I love boots but I’m also a big fan of a smart shoe with a casual look.

 

What Anatomic & Co shoes are you wearing today?

The Cardoso Castor Boots in brown.

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Describe Anatomic & Co shoes in three words.

Stylish, Enduring and Familiar.

 

What does being ‘in good company’ mean to you?

I think being ‘In good company’ is much like the Sunday I just spent. Cheering on a friend running a half marathon, then having lunch with 15 of your mates and wondering around London town seeing the sites followed by ice cream. What’s not to like?!

SHOP THE STYLE >

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HOW TO MAKE YOUR SHOES LAST FOREVER

Are your shoes in need of a little TLC? What’s the secret to keeping your shoes looking fit for a king? And how do you get rid of stains and scuffs on suede boots?

Here are our answers to some commonly asked questions on how to keep your Anatomic shoes and boots as perfect as the day you bought them.

 

Q. Wax or cream: what’s the best way to shine my leather shoes?

A. We’re quite traditional in our shoe care maintenance and both will come in handy. But a quick spit and polish simply won’t do the trick! We recommend plenty of elbow grease and the following steps:

  1. Remove any shoelaces first then remove loose dirt from your Anatomic leather shoes with a brush. Dirt too dried on? Then gently scrape off with the back of a knife or else use a moist cloth. Leave shoes to dry completely.
  2. True shoe cleaning aficionados will then remove the old polish with nail varnish remover on cotton wool. You have to be very careful that you don’t damage the leather finish, so do use sparingly if you follow this step.
  3. Shoe-polishNourish the leather to prevent it from drying out by applying a good leather conditioner, such as mink oil, with a cloth. Mink oil is renowned for making leather boots and shoes water resistant and keeping them in excellent condition. (If your shoes are brown, the mink oil may darken the leather so it’s a good idea to try out a small area first.) Work in the mink oil evenly and sparingly then leave the shoes for ten minutes before buffing off the excess with a clean cloth.
  4. Next step is to shine the shoes to a virtual mirror polish by using an oiled wax. Although many people resort to applying this with a cloth, we always recommend a welt brush as it’s so much easier to work the wax into the stitching and any brogue detailing (if applicable). Apply the wax all over the shoe – and don’t forget the sides and heels. Leave for ten minutes so that the shoe can fully absorb the wax.
  5. Lastly, buff your shoes well with a brush and then a cloth, taking care to get rid of any excess wax on the stitching.

 


Q. How can I keep my suede shoes as good as new?

Suede-brushA. For suede shoes, simply use a special suede brush to get rid of any dirt. To ensure a thorough clean, use a bespoke suede cleaner or shampoo and apply in a circular motion. Leave your suede leather shoes in a cool place to dry thoroughly (in other words, do not leave on top of the radiator) then use a hard bristle suede brush again to straighten or fluff up the suede pile.

Finally, evenly apply a waterproofing suede protector spray to protect your suede shoes and boots from rain and from dirt penetrating through. It’s a good idea to do this once or twice a month – always follow the instructions on the spray.

 

Q. I’ve heard you can steam suede shoes to remove any stains. Is that true?

A. Yes, you can easily use a kettle or iron on a stain as this opens up the pores and makes the suede easier to clean. You can also buy a special suede eraser to get rid of marks or gently scrub away a recent stain with an emery board or fine grit sandpaper.

 

Q. Is it an old wives’ tale that you should never wear the same pair of shoes on consecutive days?

A. It’s always advisable to leave a day in between wearing the same pair of shoes as leather takes about a day to dry out from rain or foot perspiration. (If you really love a style, why not invest in two pairs!)

 

Q. Wooden or foam shoe trees – which are best?

Shoe-treeA. Shoes that aren’t worn for a while will lose their shape so we always recommend investing in a well-made shoe tree. Wooden shoe trees speed up the shoe drying time because the wood helps to absorb the moisture. We also recommend foam shoe trees for travelling.

Insert the shoe tree as soon as you remove your shoes while the leather is still warm and moist from wear. A shoe tree will also stop the soles from bending upwards.

 

Q. Is it true that Anatomic will replace my worn out laces and insoles for free?

A. Absolutely! We want you to enjoy your Anatomic shoes and boots for as long as possible. If they need a new lease of life by replacing the laces and soles, we’ll send you some for free. Just call our customer services team on 0844 2258 222.

Just like your Anatomic shoes, quality matters. So always use the very best shoe care products you can buy. If you have a shoe care question, why not email us at info@anatomicshoes.com and we’ll be happy to help.

5 WAYS TO NAIL MEN’S CHELSEA BOOTS THIS AUTUMN

With a history that stretches back to the Victorian era (rumour has it, Queen Victoria herself was a big fan), there’s a lot to be said about Chelsea boots. From work to play and everything else in between, more than 150 years later, these classic elasticated slip on boots (a process developed by Charles Goodyear of the Goodyear welt) have transcended generations, taking on rock n’ roll associations such as the Beatles, Pete Doherty and… One Direction *cough* along the way.

Beatles-in-Chelsea-BootsInitially used by men and women as a go-to walking boot, they made their transition to riding as a more practical, less chunky alternative to tall riding boots. Previously referred to as Dealer or Paddock boots, they were renamed as Chelsea boots when a group of young artists, film directors, musicians and designers started frequenting the King’s Road area, West London. Known as the ‘Chelsea Set’, they became synonymous with a new way of living and dressing that would go on to influence the swinging 60’s (and beyond). Favouring the paddock boots because of their sleek, refined styling and their unrivalled versatility, they soon became considered the ultimate leisure accessory and hence renamed the Chelsea Boot.

Popular today as they were then, keep an eye out for suede and Nubuck leathers as an alternative to full-grain, while contrasting elasticated panels add a contemporary twist.

And so, with summer well and truly over, here’s our top tips on things to look out for when shopping for men’s Chelsea boots and how to wear them best.

 

  1. Take the time to find the right fit

As I’m sure you’ve already noticed, Chelsea boots have a closed fitting with the flexibility in the elasticated side panels. They should feel snug, without rubbing against the sides of your feet or squeezing your toes. If it’s your first pair of men’s Chelsea boots, we recommend trying a couple of sizes to ensure that you get the correct size and fit. To find your local stockist of Anatomic Chelsea boots, simply give us a call and we’ll point you in the right direction. If you’re buying from our website, we also offer free returns on all unworn items.

 

  1. You get what you pay for

Sure, we all like a bargain, but you may want to consider saving up/splashing out a little extra on a pair of Chelsea boots (or any men’s leather shoes or boots for that matter) – you’ll thank yourself for it in the long run.

Mens-blue-leather-chelsea-bootsWhen shopping for men’s Chelsea boots, there are a few things to look out for. Remember, a decent shoe repairer can resole your favourite pair of boots; they’ll also be able to replace an old zipper or repair a stitching. But poorly made elastic panels will deteriorate over time and cannot be replaced. Pull on tabs are also essential and will help maintain the structure of the boot and increase its lifespan.

 

  1. Your trousers should cover the top of the boots but it’s important to go with what makes you comfortable… just don’t wear with shorts

Great, so you’ve found a pair of Chelsea boots that you’re happy with. But how do you style them? Do you have the right trousers to pull them off?

Compared to other men’s leather boots, Chelsea boots are designed to have a thinner boot neck, which allows for the top to be covered by your trousers. If you’re thinking of channelling you inner Mod by wearing your Anatomic Chelsea boots with a dapper blue suit, we recommend you follow this tip, but if you’re more of Rocker, pair with some turned up slim fitting jeans.

 

  1. Style with a suit

Think a Chelsea boot lacks the finer points of an office work shoe? Think again. You see, the best thing about Chelsea boots is that they are versatile enough to be worn with both formal and casual outfits.

b4d8471d50894f765d7b733bfb855673David Beckham and Benedict Cumberbatch, among other celebs, all prove that wearing a suit needn’t make you look stuffy. Boots can mean the business and this season, there’s no excuse not to wear them at an interview, presentation or simply every winter’s day to the office.

 

  1. Down with the brown

One of the easiest ways to inject some autumnal colours into your wardrobe is with a pair of brown Chelsea boots. Their versatility means you can match with your favourite pair of denim blue jeans at the weekend, or (if you’re feeling brave) wear to work with a blue suit.

Traditional full-grained leather is great for its versatility and durability, but suede leather in brown looks good for a more weekend, country pub feel. If you are wearing suede though, make sure you invest in a quality shoe protector and brush.

See the full collection of Anatomic Chelsea boots here.