MELBOURNE / VICTORIA – 29 February 2020: From Monday 2nd March the Thomas George Collection launches its 2020 Collection of welted footwear in Australia via its online web store tgcollection.com.au.
Australian men will soon have a local brand offering affordable welted footwear. The Thomas George Collection (TGC), in collaboration with Fugashin Shoemakers, will launch its 2020 collection on 02 March via its web store tgcollection.com.au.
“We’ve spent about a year really testing the market,” says co-founder James Seaford. The 2020 Collection consists of service boots, Oxfords, brogues and penny loafer styles. “It’s been quite the journey to get to this point, but the process was methodical and it has taken the guess work out of what styles we will bring to market.”
All the signs indicate that TGC’s market testing has been successful. “We knew from our made-to-order runs that the Turon service boots were going to be popular,” remarks Seaford about the popular lace-up boot inspired by the footwear worn by Australian soldiers in World War One, “but even we were surprised when they sold out during February’s pre-order (run).”
The only other considerable local brand selling ready-to-wear welted footwear in Australia is R.M. Williams. “We’re not looking to compete against the iconic Chelsea boot,” says co-founder and business strategist Ringo Mok. “We’re simply making shoes to a standard and positioned at a price point not currently available in Australia.”
All TGC shoes are made using the Goodyear welt construction method, where a welt is used to stitch the sole to the leather upper. “It’s a costly and time-consuming process,” explains Mok. “but the advantage is that It can be easily reversed and the sole can be replaced without damaging the rest of the shoe.” Shoes constructed this way often last for years, even decades.
However, Goodyear welted footwear in Australia often has a starting price north of $600. “We wanted to make welted shoes available to more Australians,” says fellow co-founder and operations manager Ben Atkinson. “To keep prices below $400, and offer free shipping and returns, and still maintain a high-quality standard, we’ve had to make some smart operational decisions.”
TGC shoes will be sold exclusively through its online web store as well as a series of trunk shows planned for 2020. The three founders also started Welted Shoes Australia, a micro-community of Australian shoe enthusiasts, tapping into a rich vein of interested consumers who have been very supportive of the business.
Johnny Li, online blogger and founder of men’s style group Dappertude, has been impressed by what he has seen. “I was surprised to see this level of quality out of a sub $400 shoe,” said Li. “I’m not used to seeing this level of craftsmanship in a pair of shoes under $800”.
Style influencer Steve Tilly of stevetillystyle.com, claims that the Freo, TGC’s blue suede service boots, are “light weight, very comfortable and my new favourite boots”.
The THOMAS GEORGE COLLECTION is an ambitious, market-tested men’s leather shoe brand. Established in 2019, we partner with leading shoemakers to offer Australian men high-quality footwear for all life’s adventures. Our footwear is defined by its craftsmanship, thoughtful design and affordable prices. Website tgcollection.com.au. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Socials @thomasgeorgecollection