Fashion

A classic shoe steeped in English tradition

A pair of Barker shoes at Store 66 in Lonrho House, Nairobi. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG
A pair of Barker shoes at Store 66 in Lonrho House, Nairobi. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG 

Comfort, elegance and class is what you should expect from the Barker Loafer or slip-on women’s shoes.

Barker shoes have been an English tradition for over 135 years. Only the most carefully selected leathers are used and the uppers are shaped on the last by hand.

They offer a women’s collection of handcrafted shoes to the same high standard as their men’s styles.

Sitting magnificently in its own corner in Nairobi’s Store 66, the shoe almost calls out to you with its unique designs that will make any inquisitive shopper reach for it.

‘‘It is called Amber,’’ the store’s supervisor, Geoffrey Omollo, whispers in my ear, as if the shoe could hear us talking about it. The “Amber” has a stylish wingtip tassel with an elegant Cuban heel available in two calf and suede colour options.

“It is perfect as a surprise gift to a loved one. The Barker name itself stands out and if you add comfort and class this will sure make your present unique,” says Mr Omollo.

Made from pure leather, Amber costs Sh38,000.

With its low heel and inside cushion, it is most suitable for people who remain on their feet for long hours.

“Women are known for multi-tasking, whether it is running an errand or going to work or even at home, this means you will be moving around a lot and the Baker shoe is ideal because it is also very light.”

With a heritage dating back to the 1880s, the brand has managed to produce timeless designs over the centuries.

The first thing that should come to your mind should be comfort when shopping for shoes, says Mr Omollo.

“Barkers is like a lifestyle. We understand the concerns of our clients who might not know where to take the shoes for cleaning when they get dirty,” he said.

The company offers many products which are designed to help you care for their products. These include different colours of sprays and neutral ones. There is also cream.

“When you are buying a Sh50,000 or Sh40,000 shoe, you would obviously also want the pampering that comes with,” says Mr Omollo.

Chino pants

The Barker Ladies Amber Loafer goes well with a chino trouser – this is a type of women’s pants that are narrow at the ankle area, a denim skirt that reaches the knees or a trouser suit.

Mr Omollo says a Barker shoes need to stand out and this is achieved by not wearing something that is going to “overpower” them or covering them up.

“It is also not a rule that because you are a lady you have to wear heels all the time. ”