Harold John Loafers Step Into The Limelight

Harold James shoes for Ellen DeGeneres

If Jackie Kennedy, Babe Paley and Audrey Hepburn were still around, those style icons would undoubtedly be snapped wearing Harold John loafers during weekend outings and holidays spent on Martha’s Vineyard and in the Hamptons.

But you don’t have to be a Greenwich blueblood to wear this newly launched luxury footwear line. Harold John founder and designer Suzy Brady has produced a menswear-inspired, old-school loafer that features a bench-made look and feel with a big wink of good old-fashioned patrician posh: The line can be custom embroidered with your monogram, family crest, special motif or favorite saying. My

Harold James Shoes

personal fave: The “WTF” loafer — something that Jackie, Babe and Audrey definitely wouldn’t have worn. (I wanted to be cheeky, really, I did, but settled on my monogram instead.)

A hint of menswear can be quite sexy. “Think of Harold John loafers the same way you would that well-worn, rumpled Brooks Brothers button down that you ‘borrowed’ from your guy,”  said Brady.  I’ve been pairing mine with J. Brand’s Houlihan skinny cargo in olive for a look that leans more toward edgy than prepster. As much as I love my Loubie flats, I find the heels on the Harold John loafer to be a welcome, new height that is neither too flat nor too teeteringly tall. And the padded insoles are perfect for the rigors of marathon trend-spotting/shopping outings.

As a closeted interior designer who cried buckets of tears when Domino magazine shuttered its doors, I love the nod to home decor, with the slightly “upholstered” look that combines leather with wools, linens and other textures. It’s akin to sinking into a leather club chair in the study.

Brady, a huge Green Bay Packers fan whose brother-in-law also happens to be the quarterback coach for the Packers,

Harold James Shoes

created a custom pair for famous Packers fan Ellen DeGeneres. The pair featured the Packers “G” on one shoe and the number “52,” which is worn by Ellen’s favorite player, Clay Matthews, on the other.

Harold John, Brady’s father, is not only the namesake for the brand but the inspiration. He was known as quite the stylesetter in his day and passed along his sartorial sensibility to his daughter. Fittingly, Brady has also garnered a reputation for being a tastemaker. As the former owner of and designer for Dear John Fine Stationers in Aspen and Los Angeles, she catered to an A-list clientele from around the world. Now her jet-setting clients who loved her eye for great design can simply put their monogram on loafers instead of stationery!

So who would Brady love to see in Harold John loafers? Michelle Obama (with a J.Crew cardi, of course) Jennifer Aniston, Chloe Sevigny, Sofia Coppola, Lauren Hutton, Ali McGraw, Anne Hathaway, and Kate Moss to name a few.

A men’s line is also in the works. We’d love to see Harold John’s cheeky WTF pair on the creative coupling that is Barney’s Creative Director Simon Doonan and Happy Chic purveyor Jonathan Adler.

Or perhaps the most perfect spokesperson for the line should be Moon Zappa, who once said, “How strange, when your father’s wearing women’s clothes and platform shoes, that a pair of loafers looks incredible.”

harold John loafers

We couldn’t agree more.

Prices start at $425, and may be slightly higher for a highly detailed motif or monogram. www.haroldjohnshoes.com. To order, e-mail suzy@haroldjohnshoes.com.

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Author:Michelle Dalton Tyree

Fashion Trends Daily is the brainchild of Michelle Dalton Tyree. She is the former West Coast Retail Editor for Women’s Wear Daily, Fashion Editor for The Japan Times, and founder of former L.A. luxury boutique Iconology. Michelle is frequently quoted about fashion retail trends in major media outlets such as NPR, KPCC, The Inside Source and the New York Times. She has developed content for many luxury brands and retailers and has written for Allure, Worth Global Style Network, Footwear News and other media outlets.