A closer look at the Alan McAfee for Neiman Marcus vintage snaffle bit slip-ons I wore in my recent homage ensemble
The first time I ever wore these, I went out dancing until 3am. I think one can see why:
Similarly, it may come as no surprise that in its heyday, Alan McAfee took bespoke commissions for Fred Astaire, amongst a great many other of the well heeled. An example is retained in the currently dormant fashion collection at The Victoria and Albert Museum. The company,which began in the 19th century, had an extensive history, as the forvms explain:
In an earlier era, Alan McAfee based its bespoke operation in Dover Street, London, with the ready-to-wear models sold in the US made by Church's and other manufacturers. At one time Church sold relabeled Church shoes as McAfee in cities with competitive retail accounts. The first account would have Church, the second would stock McAfee. Thus, in San Francisco Cable Car Clothiers stocked one brand and Bullock & Jones might stock the same shoe with the other brand. I forget which had which. The dovetail toplift (heel bottom) insert is generically known as a "McAfee Heel" regardless of shoe brand. McAfee later, in the US anyway, used a label that had "London, Paris, New York" without the polo player logo.
McAfee floundered in the late 1980s and tried to raise its profile with Oliver Sweeney as a design director in the early 1990s or so. It didn't save the firm from failing and being bought out by Church's. Church's then used the name on a line of shoes apparently made by Cheaney.
My pair, being made for the American market, is most certainly not made in London. That doesn't take away from how enjoyable they are to own, give or take the adjustment to my protuberances this pair requires
Now, my other pair of McAfees, going by the mod styling and interior logo, are from the London operation. But that is an entry for another day