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Three Decades Of Clergerie

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Should any of you ladies out there find yourself lacing up a pair of menswear-style oxfords today, spare a thought for Robert Clergerie. The venerable French footwear brand, which turns 30 this year, was the first to create a classic men’s-style oxford for women (on a man’s last, no less), and the ones Clergerie turns out today are, arguably, still the best. You can pay homage to Mr. Clergerie himself (pictured, bottom right), in fact, if your oxford-o-philia is intense enough: The shoemaker has made a rare trip to New York City and is celebrating his brand’s birthday this afternoon with a fête at Bergdorf Goodman. A trip to the BG shoe department will confirm that Clergerie’s footwear mastery is not confined to the lace-up alone. Some highlights from the Fall ’10 collection include a curvilinear wedge with crisscross straps and a pair of hiking boots with a clear lug sole. (Not to mention the ace Robert Clergerie par Opening Ceremony range, available at O.C.) Clergerie still makes all his shoes by hand at his factory in Romans, France, and he’s still a stickler for comfort—as fans including Lauren Hutton and Blake Lively would undoubtedly attest. Here, as a birthday tribute, a few images from the Clergerie archives.

Photos: All Courtesy of Robert Clergerie

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