Q&A WITH SOCIAL AMBASSADOR AND MEN’S HEAD BARBER ORAN LASOCKI

#NewYearNewMe, or as we say (any excuse to catch up with social ambassador and Head Barber at Murdoch London, Oran Lasocki) #NewYearNewHaircut… right?

We call by Oran’s shop this week to discuss menswear fashion inspirations and as someone who spends more than 12 hours a day on his feet, his expectations from a decent pair of men’s leather shoes.

 

How did you get into barbering?

I started barbering in 2014 after studying for my NVQ Level 2 in Barbering that I received from The London School of Barbering. I’ve always had an interest in men’s hair, fashion and style, so this is the industry I felt I could really thrive in and express my creative instincts. I find I’ve been able to really develop my own sense of style while working in this industry – just one of the things I love about working as a barber.

 

What do you think makes a successful barber?

When they are happy with their job, with the work they’re producing and have loyal clients. People may think it’s down to becoming well known and having celebrity clients but, for me, it’s just about being happy and keeping my clients happy.

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How important is it to be sociable in your job?

It’s vital that I’m sociable with what I do to make sure I understand what my client is looking for and to come up with the best solution and end product for what they want. Being sociable is also important to network with other new and experienced barbers or hairdressers for future projects and bouncing ideas off each other.

 

What’s your overall aim when someone new sits in your barber seat?

I aim to get an idea of what they’re looking to achieve – if it’s manageable within the first appointment or if it’s a work in progress – and give them an estimate time of how long it’ll take. I want to make sure they leave my chair with a better knowledge of their hair and most importantly I hope to see them leave happy and return.

 

You clearly like fashion. Where do you look for inspiration?

I look for inspiration everywhere, from reading magazines like Esquire to Instagram to the streets of London.

 

How would you describe your style?

I’m not sure there’s an easy way to describe it. I take note of current trends and previous ones and try putting combinations together. I love having one piece being somewhat outspoken, for example I’ll be wearing all black, black shirt, black trousers but possibly white or baby blue socks to go with my Anatomic & Co Tucano Brogues. This will draw subtle attention to my shoes without going overboard.

 

What do you look for when buying a new pair of shoes?

Firstly I look for individuality: if it’s the colour, the brogue pattern, the colour of the sole, something that stands out from the rest, and then I will make sure they are comfortable. This is very important to me as I’m always on my feet and I always walk around to get places. Comfort is key.

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Describe Anatomic & Co shoes in three words.

Comfort, classic, gentleman.

 

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

It’s very important to me as it means I am surrounded by the people I love and get on with the most, allowing me and everyone else to exchange stories and news.

SHOP THE STYLE >

 

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Q&A WITH SOCIAL AMBASSADOR AND MIXOLOGIST MICHAL BUBEN

It’s not quite Christmas but party season is (if it hasn’t already) kicking off this week, and as part of our ongoing mission to make the world a more sociable place, we’re catching up with mixologist Michal Buben to find out what he expects from his footwear heading into this relentless and, at times, chaotic period.

 

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

I studied Hospitality Management and gained a new found love with food and drink.

 

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

It’s definitely my experience. With over 20 years working in different bars and restaurants I have a passion for my job and this is what comes through in everything I do. I like to push myself to my limits and continue to learn. I feel when you stop learning you stop being successful.

 

How important is it to be sociable in your job?

In short, A LOT. The industry I work in is inherently sociable and so are the people. I like to enter lots of competitions and meet new people. By being sociable I’ve become recognisable, which is especially helpful when looking for new career opportunities.

 

What inspires your style?

I go for the classic look. It suits my personality.

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What do you look for in shoes?

The most important things are that they’re comfortable, elegant and good quality.

 

What Anatomic & Co shoes are you wearing today?

They’re the Tucano brogues in Smooth Coffee. I love them. They deliver against all of the above, which is surprising for a shoe brand.

 

Describe Anatomic & Co shoes in three words.

Stylish, comfortable and classic.

 

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

To be with family.

SHOP THE STYLE >

 

 

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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.

Team picks and tips

True to our ‘In good company’ strapline, we’d like to introduce you to some of our team and share their savvy Anatomic picks and why.

 

Gerry (Head of Sales) – Pilar brogue

Gerry

‘My feet feel really cosy’

I’ve worked at Anatomic & Co for under a year but have been wearing Anatomic shoes for ten years and now own 23 pairs – that’s more than my wife!

I chose these Pilar brogues as my current favourites because I can’t believe how comfortable they are. When I’m working at a trade show, I’m on my feet all day and walking three or four miles to meet with retailers. I can’t believe how comfortable they are and I didn’t even need to break them in. I wear these non-stop for ten to twelve hours a day; my feet feel really cosy!

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Pilar looks really good on your feet so combines the best of both worlds. I wore these last Saturday night to a smart restaurant and another diner asked where they were from. Retailers always look at the shoes I’m wearing; I recently wore these visiting the shoe department of a major store and was followed by a sales assistant on perfumes who wanted to know where they were from.

The two different leathers make the brogues feel comfortable around the foot and protective at the front. The rubber welt around the shoe also adds to the comfort.

Gerry’s tip: These look great worn with navy semi-smart trousers.

 

Dan (Marketing Executive) – Murilo Black

Dan

‘A black shoe that isn’t just a black shoe’

I first tried on Murilo in an agents’ meeting and they really were one of the most comfortable pairs of shoes I’ve ever put on. I call these my office slippers!

You wouldn’t tend to think of a dress shoe as being comfortable, but the soft leather on these just moulds around your foot. Initially, I thought I’d wear Murilo with a suit or to a wedding but I can wear these with slim tailored trousers or even skinny dark jeans.

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I recently wore Murilo to a friend’s celebration at their parents’ house and they made quite an impression! This is a black shoe that isn’t just a black shoe. I always think of a brogue as being a dress-down option but Murilo is really a formal alternative.

Dan’s tip: Best worn with dark blue or black denim; never light!

 

Lynda (Customer Services) – Casablanca

Lynda

‘Look after these and they’ll last a lifetime’

I’ve got my beady eye on these for my partner, Kevin. Casablanca is perfect for him to wear during the day as he does a lot of studio work and likes wearing casual shoes, but I don’t want him in scruffy trainers all the time!

We’re often out and about – there’s nothing like a walk along the Grand Union Canal to one of our favourite pubs, The Grand Junction Arms – so these would be great at the weekend. Casablanca isn’t a trainer or a boot but a good crossover. It’s also a great transitional shoe from summer to autumn.

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I get a lot of repeat requests for these in Customer Services; they’re selling like hot cakes!

Lynda’s tip: Casablanca comes in Nubuck suede but look after them and they’ll last a lifetime. You can easily revive with steam then clean gently with suede brush.

 

Travis (Warehouse Operative) – Panorama in whisky

Travis

‘The quality is just amazing’

Working in the warehouse means I get a sneak preview of all our new shoes and boots and Panorama has to be my favourite style in our new range.

I like high quality and the quality on these is just amazing. I went on a cruise to Norway with my grandfather and wore them all the time, not just to the formal dinners in the evening but also on some of the day excursions. They look great with jeans.

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For me, styling makes a good shoe. What I like about Panorama is the fact that they’re very minimalistic and look such high quality. I’m on my feet a lot during the day and these are perfect when I have to come into head office for a meeting.

Travis’ tip: The rubber touch points on these absorb shock, making the shoes even more wearable and comfortable to walk in.