The loafer has found its place in the wild of modern men’s clothing, with the proverbial footwear trying its best to bring the sneaker to the top of the mountain. Earlier this year, we called them “the most important shoes of 2021” and for a good reason – no other pair gives a laceless comfort in a sharp style like a kicked loafer. And today J.Crew and Blackstock & Weber unveiled a great loafer in the form of a full-circle collaboration, a footwear label started by the crew’s own alumni.
“I was part of the opening crew of the Jay Crew Liquor Store,” said Christopher Ichevaria, founder and creative director of Blackstock & Weber. “I worked there while studying men’s clothing design at the Fashion Institute of Technology.” The liqueur store, somewhat famous, the former Tribeca bar was transformed into a clubhouse boutique that was equally in tune with the downtown style and the men’s clothing trend of the 2010s. “While there, Mickey Drexler and I. [former J.Crew CEO] Came close, and I became a scout for the partnership that we eventually wanted to sell to men’s stores around the world. “
Since Blackstock & Weber launched in 2017, Ikebaria has created a loyal follow-up, landing spot on the mainstream streetwear empire Keith and the highly curated store shel sixteen. Brand loafers fit in both places. Because they don’t look like your regular loafers এ they’re made from offbeat materials like honeycomb crochet and hairy baby-blue suede instead of your standard black or brown skin. And then, for lookbooks, they are often styled with Nike socks or gray sweatpants. This way you now want to wear a pair of loafers.
As Echeveria says, this whole project came together quite simply and quite biologically. J.Crew arrived, and then “it was a lot of swatch games until we found something that felt like a natural bond between brands.” The end result is a gorgeous pair of two-tone loafers, mixing the soil brown and tan with a sharp cowhide-esque print. The accompanying lookbook shows how much mileage you can get from a well-designed loafer: a pair of blue jeans, then gray sweatpants and finally a beautiful shaded suit. They drop by J.Crew’s site today.
This collaboration feels like a comeback for J.Crew – and perhaps an indication of what’s going to happen, especially now that former Supreme Creative Director and Noah founder Brendan Bebenzien is in his seat as chief male designer. Blackstock and Weber symbolize how many guys want to dress up these days: a certain American timeline has grown with an arti and semi-streetwear edge. This makes Echevarria’s label a natural partner in the direction that J.Crew seems to be headed, and it also makes for some extremely tempting loafers.