Iconic American men’s footwear brand, Johnston & Murphy, is taking some styling tips from menswear designer David Hart for a limited-edition series of formal looks launching online today with Hart’s unique twist.
Hart, a 2015 Council of Fashion Designers of America Fashion Fund finalist, was attracted to the brand’s more than 150-year heritage and its Tennessee roots, while Johnston & Murphy tapped Hart due to his well-known affinity for American menswear and his ability to modernize the codes of classic formalwear.
Hart worked off a formal shoe from Johnston & Murphy’s archives originally produced in the ’50s and ’60s. The result is a three-style series that includes a black patent leather laceup and two velvet-tassel slippers available in navy and black. The shoes retail for $295 and will also be available at the brand’s new store in New York’s Flatiron district.
In an exclusive interview with Footwear News in 2014, Hart said he owes his creativity to his grandfather’s own accessories and clothing collection dating back to the 1950s and early ’60s. “He was a snappy dresser and went to clubs like El Morocco and the Stork Club in New York,” he said.
According to Hart, his customer is the 30-to-40-year-old guy who appreciates well-made clothing and fabrics: “He’s looking for [styles] to add to his wardrobe, but [also keep] for a long time. He wants to stand out and not look like everyone else.”