A little over a year and a half ago I announced that I had left my job as an accountant to start a shoe brand, thank you to those of you who have given me your support since then. I hope that all of you will continue to support me by continuing to read the The Fine Young Gentleman as well as patronize my brand, Jay Butler. Although I have mentioned the brand a few times in passing I have remained relatively quiet about things. However, I feel that it is now time to more formally announce Jay Butler and inform all of you on its launch next month (for the latest news, please sign up for updates from the brand here).
Jay Butler is is a purveyor of fine footwear and leather accessories. Its roots are very much set in some of the more classic styles of men’s footwear; however, viewed through a more modern lens. When designing the shoes for Jay Butler I wanted to create shoes that a gentleman could just as easily wear to work as he could wear to the bars; even to the beach. I wanted to create shoes that a man could live in. And live in comfortably.
Over the past few years I have come to believe that there is a significant lack of well styled, well made and well priced casual footwear. I intend for Jay Butler to address this void. Sure, there are the boat shoes of the world, they are great and last for years. But they can only be dressed up so much. Then of course there are those nubby soled driving shoes that are also great. But they will last you for a single season, if that. Not to mention, I have yet to find a penny loafer for less than $200 that I would wear. As men, our options seem to be limited, often, purchasing decisions are made on a ‘lesser of evils’ basis, which results in either quality, style or one’s bank account having to suffer. Jay Butler will allow men to have their cake and eat it too.
In keeping with what I have preached here at The Fine Young Gentleman, I knew that whatever I designed and sold would have to represent an exceptional value. There was and will be no compromising on this, nor should there be. Jay Butler will do for shoes what many of the made to measure suit brands that I have written about did for made to measure suits. They took a product that many men wanted and cut the price to a fraction of what it was historically offered for. Jay Butler’s hand lasted and hand sewn loafers will be offered for around $150, not $300. The same techniques of construction and manufacture will be used, the same quality of materials will be used and the products will be produced by workers who have the same level of experience and skill as those who produce goods for brands that charge far more than Jay Butler. Better style, better price, better value.
Jay Butler will use full grain leathers, leather soles and leather linings for make its shoes and accessories. All of the exotic skins that Jay Butler uses will be CITES certified. Many of our patterns will be cut by hand and then crafted into shoes, bags, wallets and belts by hand. Jay Butler’s goods will not be made in enormous factories in China and India, they will not be made in sweatshops and they will not be made in adverse working conditions. They will be made in workshops and factories in Mexico. Many of the craftsmen and craftswomen who make Jay Butler’s shoes and accessories have been doing so for years, some for decades and some are even the 2nd or 3rd generation of their family to make shoes and leather goods. It could be argued that the craft is in their blood.
Jay Butler’s products will be available exclusively on the brand’s website, JayButler.com. Please note that although the website is live, products are not yet for sale. They will be available for pre-sale sometime in early October and the first orders will ship out toward the end of October.
For those of you that are wondering, The Fine Young Gentleman will continue. In fact, now that the summer is over, I plan to increase the frequency of posts from 1-2 a week to 2-4 a week.
I urge all of you who interested in Jay Butler to sign up for updates here. In the coming weeks I will share much more about how Jay Butler came about, how its products are made and the ideas and inspiration behind the products. Below, you will find a sampling of images of the shoes and how they are made. You will also find a few photos from the first look book. As always, if you have any questions, please email me at Justin@TheFineYoungGentleman.com or you may email Jay Butler directly at Info@JayButler.com. And of course, you may sound off in the comments below. I look forward to beginning the next chapter
Justin L. Jeffers