One of Regent Tailoring's newest brands is Redwing Shoes. Like many of the clothing brands that Regent works with, Redwing has a rich heritage. Launched in 1905, the American company is perhaps most famous for producing the footwear in which American troops fought during World War One (its number 16 boot). Stout footwear was one of the most important parts of a soldier's kit, because an immobile fighter soon became fodder. As with much else, the war acted as a catalyst for the development of footwear and after the 1918 Armistice, Redwing used its manufacturing know-how to continue to produce its boots for the domestic market.
Today, Redwing is still reliant on handmade craftsmanship and produces an expanded range of boots, several of which have become immortalised in popular culture. Jack Nicholson wore a pair of the brand's now-iconic number 877 work boots (also known as 'Irish Setter' because of the red colour of the leather) in his 1975 film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Steve McQueen, an avid dirt-biker, was also widely photographed wearing a pair. More recently, the boots have been worn by style aficionado Nic Wooster, David Beckham and, off screen, by Ryan Gosling. According to author Josh Sims, whose book Icons of Men's Style can be purchased from Regent's Salisbury shop, the boots were very nearly worn by Harrison Ford in the original Indiana Jones trilogy. Too bad they weren't!
Redwing boots were conceived as work boots and naturally look great when combined with jeans – regular or slim fit (think Levi's vintage 1947 501 or vintage 1967 505) – but Nic Wooster has successfully worn them to give a mix n'match three-piece tailored outfit an edgy, contemporary twist by rolling the hem of his trousers above the top of the boots. Adaptable as they are, the key to wearing the boots is evidently to be as bold as they are. And if you're planning to attend Goodwood Revival between 9-11 September (where Regent Tailoring will have stand), these would be the perfect choice of footwear!