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Duke Mantee

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Everything posted by Duke Mantee

  1. Given the strength and durability of a saddle stitch I would suggest it is better placed in a boot than a wallet - I think what we see then is actually how business efficiency (time=money) has convinced us that a handmade boot doesn’t need to be saddle stitched. It used to be a bespoke suit was entirely hand stitched but it’s now not uncommon to find that long seam lines are now machine stitched … it’s still handmade because the rules of engagement have changed to suit the landscape. It’s really not a discussion about quality as such - more the confusion that arises when a customer can’t understand why item A is $X but item B is 3x $X … because item A has a few finishing stitches done by hand and item B is everything done by hand and both ‘legitimately’ claim handmade status. I see it here fairly often - and mostly centred around footwear and larger leather items.
  2. What are you currently wearing?
  3. Duke Mantee


    I like Guidi leathers - they have a nice finish generally Is the belt all horse or backed by cowhide? I like the stitching too
  4. You’re absolutely right - there is no real correct answer. I disagree about sewing the uppers though. For me they should be handsewn; we do it for bags, wallets, belts etc so there’s no reason in my mind that uppers can’t be handsewn. Soles and heels are very difficult so shaping down a heel with a sander could be argued as still being handmade. I think the thing that bothers me most is the businesses are rather disingenuous about what handmade can mean - so really it’s the lack of integrity rather than the lack of skill, because as I’ve said before it takes no little skill to be a good machinist
  5. Duke Mantee


    Tell me more @l13902733261 - your vintage buckle?
  6. I’m seconding @chicote here - it’s no mean feat (geddit?) to make footwear from scratch, especially as complex as this. There aren’t many boots I ever seen that are handmade (lots of makers are happy to say handmade when they’re really not), so it’s great to see this
  7. Yeah from the pic mate … but I had something in my mind, some vague memory this had been stated somewhere (maybe another forum). Plus his album was ‘63 and the 551 were ‘61/62? Anyway I was hoping/wondering if the pic maybe jogged a memory
  8. … he came up in some other chat but this Bob Dylan shot from his Freewheelin’ album is a classic. Maybe doc or some other luminary might confirm or otherwise but are these 551ZXX?
  9. Duke Mantee


    … just trying to speed up the patina for you mate 😉
  10. Duke Mantee


    For @MJF9 - a Wickett & Craig ‘American Vachetta’ rough out with a solid brass buckle that’s been sanded and re-polished to allow the metal to oxidise very quickly.
  11. Great value for money compared to the bulk of their peers Sadly I don’t think they are still in operation (could be wrong)
  12. Just iPhone pics at the moment - but here’s what Neal made me with the tools in it. It’s not a tool rack … it’s the best piece of furniture we’ve got in the house. It looks and feels mid-century as Neal said, it smells lovely and I ab-so-fucking-lutely love it Wood is such a tactile material and when you’ve got someone who understands it so well then you can only end up with a beautiful object
  13. I vaguely remember something like that - good chance it was JPG The quality of shoe available around that time was really good. I had these (90s Bikkembergs) and wore them to death … loved them: … and these were the shoes I mentioned earlier but mine had a buckle strap (similar to engineer boots as I said)
  14. Not quite but point here, I’d say, is there were a few similar ideas floating about … which is always the case regardless of era / fashion / style
  15. Fuck no … I was much too trendy to be doing that
  16. I remember the MA-1 as the weapon of choice for skinheads … that was well before the 90s though. I still associate the jacket with that period and I’ve disliked it intensely since then. However, come the 80s / early 90s I was hanging out ‘The Warehouse’ shop quite a bit. They were selling (IMO) the most amazing clothes and (JPG, Vivienne Westwood, ‘Antwerp 6’, etc) and Gaultier introduced his ‘Junior’ range - it was his take on streetwear … jeans, denim jacket variants and I bought a few pieces. I don’t have pics and can’t find much online but my favourite outfit was a pair of shoes that engineer boots with the shaft removed, black Junior Gaultier jeans and a hybrid MA1 (sleeves - black) / Type 3 (body - burgundy) jacket. This was the one of the other variants which was short body MA1
  17. I’ve seen quite a few Filson vests that are similar - but simpler. I like the pocket variety on yours better. Also here’s the Baker vest by Freewheelers from winter 2011 The FW Sasquatch takes things quite a big step forward … but the variety of vests, complex or otherwise, they produce from all the materials you’ve noted (without forgetting beachcloth and others) is quite impressive
  18. Duke Mantee


    Silver plate ranger buckle set (actually a headstall buckle set), vintage 50s glass jewels, antique brass studs all built on J&FJ Baker bridle leather … the tallow is untouched (as best possible)
  19. For some the cinch can be uncomfortable with a belt
  20. Wow! let me tell you guys something … @Double 0 Soul asked me what payment I wanted for the leather on his headphones; I couldn’t say and anyway it was a fun project for a mate - I got to do something different and I learned a bit more … so casually (and rather thoughtlessly I now realise) I said to Neal to make me a little tool rack. It was a thoughtless request because: 1. I should never forget Neal doesn’t do anything by halves; 2. This means that instead of a glued balsa wood assembly I was thinking of, he goes out and does what you see here I am blown away and suitably embarrassed
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