An extraordinary arrival…
Long before we met Arthur Sleep, we knew him by reputation. An habitué of only the most stylish London circles, Mr. Sleep quickly gained notoriety for his dramatic entrances to all notable social events. It was reported to us by a friend that said gentleman arrived at a wedding by way of a pink hot air balloon, and that upon disembarking he presented the angry bride (who felt, no doubt, that her proverbial thunder had been somewhat stolen) with a festooned miniature pony (also pink), thereby restoring her goodwill and winning her eternal adoration. Another rather extraordinary rumour has it that Arthur Sleep was attending a ball hosted by a Japanese diplomat who had learned at the very last minute that his entertainment had fallen through. Mr. Sleep, it is said, offered his services at this point, delivering a compelling and tear-jerking traditional ballad, in its original Japanese.
Just as intriguing as such theatrics, however, were Arthur Sleep’s mysterious exits. One of our lady friends claims to have been in the midst of a passionate kiss with the man himself, when – having to sneeze – she turned her head slightly for a minute so as not to spray, and upon turning back, found him completely vanished. Another associate cites a similar experience when, enjoying a Cuban cigar with Mr. Sleep outside of an exclusive night club, he was momentarily distracted by something across the street. When he turned back to answer his companion’s question (“How do you spell ‘radicchio’?”), it was only to find that he was alone. Mr. Sleep was no where to be seen, although our friend did think he could make out the vague outline of something glowing faintly in the distance.
Equally mysterious were Arthur Sleep’s origins, education, means of (ostensibly substantial) income, and, indeed, place of residence. What was known for fact was that he was: fluent in at least six languages (though some suspected more), unfairly good looking, spectacularly successful with the ladies, egotistical, alarmingly witty, well-read and well-travelled. Furthermore, remarked upon without exception was Mr. Sleep’s personal attire – his shoes, in particular. His style drew no shortage of envious comments, as well as comparisons to James Bond, Willy Wonka, A$AP Rocky, and other historical and fictional fashion icons. As one young woman put it, “If Hercule Poirot were hot…”
When we did, at last, come face to face with Mr. Sleep at the bachelor party of a mutual acquaintance, we told him how thrilled we were to finally meet him, to which he replied: “As well you should be.” We asked him if we, young and earnest shoe designers that we were, might have the honour of crafting him a pair of shoes – thinking, admittedly, of the great free publicity.
To this he laughed, and replied, “You can try.”
We slaved over that first pair of Albert Slippers for weeks. When we finally, nervously, presented them to Mr. Sleep, he was (unflatteringly) incredulous but delighted. From that day on, we have been his personal cordwainers. For the first few years, his voracious sartorial appetite was enough to keep us busy day and night. Over time, we have become collaborators: his tastes have influenced our designs hugely; a risk taker, Mr. Sleep is never afraid to try something new, to push boundaries. And neither are we.
Together, we have been creating beautiful shoes. And now, with the blessing of our patron, we would like to share them with you.
We have named our company after our benefactor, our inspiration – the most dapper and dopest of gentlemen, that better-dressed personality we all want to be, wearing the shoes we want to wear – the notorious: