About Us

Our Ethos

Gilbert & Bailey offers it's customers the chance to commission their own bepsoke shoe designs from anywhere in the world, using our unique software.  We want to give our customers the freedom to design their own footwear and the ease, through our bepsoke website, with which to do so. Our shoes are entirely hand crafted, a process that on even the most simple of design takes no less than 10 weeks and over 200 steps to complete.  

Our lasts and patterns reflect the traditions of old with a modern, streamlined elegance that makes them suitable for the most striking contemporary and also the most classic, timeless designs.   

The shaped waists, dropped top lines and other subtle bespoke touches raise what would otherwise be a perfectly good and functional English-made shoe into an exceptional handcrafted work of art.  

We’re injecting colour, life and vibrancy into this very traditional industry through a choice of leathers, patterns and bespoke options.  

All of our shoes are handmade in Northampton, the traditional home of English shoemaking, by master craftsmen with a combined skills base of hundereds of years. We want our business to support and nurture the local area. All of our designs and proccesses are built from centuries old traditions with a touch of 21st century innovation.

The People 

As company directors, our backgrounds lay in very different industries. From horse racing to racing car design, and bookmaking, to christmas tree growing - we’ve got quite a few covered. Yet the thing that unites us is a constant striving for the best. The best in quality, design, and execution. We want to bring our know how to this industry to bring you, exactly what you want.

Also, as the fifth generation coming into the leather industry, we know about the materials. Our grandparents had a tannery and throughout my childhood ballet shoes, skirts, jackets - everything was made from the leftovers in granny’s garage. 

When manufacturing moved abroad in the 1980s, the need for British tanneries disappeared, and our business disappeared. We want to serve our part therefore in bringing leathergoods and textile manufacturing back to British shores and preserving the skills, traditions and knowledge developed over the last few centuries.  

We think our diverse backgrounds will allow us to do this. We appreciate that you, as our customer want the elegant shapes and bespoke shoe touches without having to attend numerous fittings over a period of 9-12 months or be told that your options are black, brown or tan.  

As we go forward, our plan is to take on and train apprentices in the art of shoemaking.  

Throughout November and December you will find us, and our shoes at Wood’s Farm, Solihull. Christmas must go on afterall!   

We look forward to hearing from you,  

Tom Gilbert and Mollie Bailey

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