LeatherFoot Emporium: Toronto’s newest destination for classic men’s style
If you’ve lived in Toronto for a while there’s a good chance you’ve seen the house: a stunning Victorian mansion on the west side of Avenue Road between Bloor and Davenport. And if you’ve passed the building recently and noticed lots of activity, renovations and occasionally a finely tailored suit in the window you’ve probably wondered, “What’s going on in there?” Well, after months of work Toronto’s newest destination for classic men’s style opened last week: LeatherFoot Emporium.
I was thankful to be part of the opening on Saturday, April 2. I helped organized an evening with Simon Crompton, UK’s leading writer and journalist on classic men’s style, the man behind the Permantent Style blog and author of “The Finest Menswear in the World.” Simon’s book signing also served as the official opening of LeatherFoot’s new location at 82 Avenue Road. As part of the event, I led a Q&A with Simon and we discussed finding and assessing quality, his definition of “bespoke” and the future of tailored clothing.
I have written about LeatherFoot in the past – on E.G. Cappelli ties, Bresciani socks and Crockett & Jones boots, plus this feature I did on the store for CBC Radio in December of 2013. The store represents a steadfast vision for classic men’s style featuring items that are the best of the best. But the new LeatherFoot is much more than an expanded version of their small shop on Bellair in Yorkville. The Emporium still stocks shoes from Saint Crispin’s, Edward Green, Alden and more, plus leather bags by Frank Clegg, those Cappelli ties and other accessories. Added to all that, however, is an in-house tailor and a shoemaker. All of those things put together make this new store unique not only in this city but, quite frankly, anywhere in the world.
The in-house tailor is none other than Francesco Pecoraro, better known as Signor Francesco or his company name “Francesco Sr.” I’ve profiled Signor Francesco before and when I did, I was stunned to discover one of the finest tailors I’d ever met quietly plying his trade in relative obscurity. Well, he’s not a hidden gem any longer. LeatherFoot has launched a new site for Francesco Sr. with the goal of telling the world about his tailoring skills. (Full disclosure: I helped produce both the website and the feature video on Francesco Sr.)
Francesco Sr. bespoke flannel sport jacket.
There is also a small space at the back of the house, next to the tailoring workshop, which will be the atelier for a bespoke shoe maker. He is set to arrive late spring or early summer and will fully round out the offerings at the new Emporium.
A bespoke derby at LeatherFoot Emporium.
I will be working on a number of classic men’s style events with LeatherFoot over the coming months so please subscribe to the Hogtown Rake newsletter to be the first to know. And I hope to meet you there as the new Emporium becomes a meeting point for like-minded sartorial enthusiasts from around the city and around the world.