Will is a Munich-based content creator and style consultant that’s perhaps better known through his alias, The Dons Club. A sartorialist by nature, over the years he’s amassed a considerable following online who flock to his channels to gawk at his sense of style. Will is also a massive ‘shoe guy’, with a collection that rivals our stock room and with a penchant for English makers, and so it was only fitting that he wore a few pairs from Edward Green and gave us his thoughts and reveals what he believes is the future of classic menswear…
Hi Will, thanks for taking the time to speak with us! Please tell us where your passion for classic menswear stems from.
I guess my passion for classic menswear comes from my father, who would always be meticulously dressed throughout the week for work. Then, on the weekends, he would wear a pair of chinos and still walk out in a blazer or jacket. He once said, “Son, you never know who you might meet – first impressions always count!” I guess that stuck with me.
How did you come to founding The Don’s Club, and what does it stand for?
An old friend of mine once suggested I should showcase my style and interest on social media, and the name ‘The Dons Club’ comes from my childhood days when I was part of a group of friends. We called ourselves ‘The Dons’. As I was looking for a name for the platform, it was a nice choice regarding my love for elegant style.
How do you blend classic elements with modern touches when it comes to your style?
Through trial and error; I don’t want to wear one kind of style, as I like to experiment, see what works and try it out myself. That is, in my opinion, the best way to find one's style and taste.
How would you summarise the importance of handcrafted shoes in the modern man's wardrobe?
You only got two feet in this world, so you might as well take care of them! Handcrafted shoes will get you places and, if cared for, last a lifetime.
Over the years, how have your style preferences evolved towards shoes?
I used to abide by the rule that Oxfords are the starting point of any gentleman’s wardrobe. I quickly found out that it wasn’t for me, and I find loafers bridge the gap between formal and informal occasions perfectly. For instance, a penny loafer works so well with a suit and a pair of vintage jeans.
Now, to Edward Green. How would you summarise Edward Green's prestige and what makes it one of the world's foremost shoemakers, in your opinion?
To me, Edward Green is the pinnacle of handcrafted shoes, and the fits, silhouettes, and craftsmanship are what drew me to the brand some years ago. I find it fascinating that a brand such as Edward Green has been able to evolve and is now the focus of the younger generation – not many classic shoe brands manage that transition. I’ve tried many brands over the years, but Edward Green has kept the same quality consistently.
You've selected two icons from Edward Green's offering, the Piccadilly and Belgravia loafers, which are formed on the 184 last. What makes this last so versatile and practical, and what are some ways you'd style them?
The last is phenomenal. The almond shape is perfectly balance and proportioned with it not being too pointy nor round. It sits comfortably on my feet without putting pressure in the usual places. It’s also versatile in the sense that it lends itself well to both formal and casual last makes it so easy to combine. I wear it in many different styles, in fact. More casual suits and I love the odd combination of trousers and a jacket. I recently wore it to shorts which worked really well.
From a craftsmanship point of view, what are three characteristics that you're most impressed by on the Piccadilly and Belgravia?
I have the City Sole on the Piccadilly, and I have to say it is the most sophisticated design I’ve come across regarding rubber soles, so that is quite impressive.
What makes the Polperro loafer a must-have style for the summer months and what are some ways you intend to wear your pair?
It is unlined and super soft. Need I say more? When it comes to summer shoes, less is always more, and the Polperro personifies that perfectly.
Aside from Edward Green, what other shoemakers are available from The Hand that you admire?
I’ve been a longtime fan of Baudoin & Lange and also own a few pairs; they’re sophisticated but still casual which speaks to my own sense of style. The Hand has a great selection of my favourite models, which include the Grand model as well as the Stride. Secondly, I’ve always been curious about Stefano Bemer; the Florentine shoemaker has some amazing fits which I would love to try one day.
In your opinion, what sets The Hand apart from other classic menswear stores (both physical and online)?
I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing first-hand their service towards customers. This is so important, particularly when regarding the price range from the brands currently stocked. I want to be sure I am finding the right fit and know what to expect, so it helps when you have a sales advisor who knows each brand he is selling and knows how the shoe should fit and what to expect in the future of wear. This kind of experience is what makes you want to come back. The best part is if you have a question, you simply just email them, and they will get back to you with in-depth answers to your inquiry. I like that a lot in a brand. Even if not being there physically, you still get an honest service.