In the face of Selfridges' monolithic new shoe gallery - which, we were sore to discover, plays host to no mens styles whatsoever - it was gratifying to stumble across a brand new, independent footwear store (featuring some of the most beautiful mens shoes we've seen in ages), just a stone's throw from the big yellow retailer, on Soho's Marshall Street.
Established by shoe designer Mick Hoyle back in 2003, F Troupe was cooked up, in the words of Hoyle, to fill the gap in the market "for affordable but design-orientated footwear". Well, affordable and design-orientated his footwear is, so design-orientated and affordable in fact, that we own a good few pairs ourselves - last season's crepe soled brogue boots enjoyed plenty of wear around Esquire HQ.
The Marshall Street store - F Troupe's first, and currently only standalone - opened a week or so ago, and has already caused a stir among Soho's shoe-gazing (get it?) media set. The SS '11 collection will be in stores soon, so look out for the low slung take on the chukka boot as seen above, it'll be big news next summer.
F Troupe, 33 Marshall Street, London, W1F 7ET. www.f-troupe.com