by Karen Alberg Grossman

Bryan (Bee) Beecroft is a creator at heart. “When I began my 34th year at Beecroft & Bull, the job was feeling like a Sisyphean undertaking. Toward the end, all I wanted to do was design cool things.”

A lifelong admirer of the classic ‘Albert Slipper’, Beecroft had acquired a vast personal collection, but little was available beyond “velvets with crests and cutesy slogans.” He also disliked the unflattering long vamp that elongated his size 11 foot. Convinced he could do better, he discovered a fabulous domestic tannery for custom work, the best artisanal footwear factory in England, and an exceptional woolen facility. Sourcing from all three, his collection comprises embossed leathers, fine woolens (beefy heritage flannels in solids, chalk stripes, windowpanes), and rich velvets. All footwear is crafted from a single piece of material with only one seam in the back; everything is made to order including custom linings, pipings, and monograms. Prices are $275 cost and up for suggested retails of $595 to $995; turnaround time is eight weeks.

“I view a well turned out man as an exclamation point: the dot at the bottom should never be boring,” Bee proclaims. And boring this footwear is not! After all, Beecroft has been awarded ‘Best Dressed in Menswear’ on several occasions; his innate flair for juxtaposing different elements for a distinctive look has inspired many industry colleagues to dress more creatively.

Check out Preppies on Acid at the Chicago Collective.