Miss Emma Lakin of shoemaker W. S. Foster and Son is visiting San Francisco this week, beginning that firm's spring tour of the United States. She brought with her a pair of wonderfully patinated elastic-sided slipon shoes that began their lives as black in color but are now a sort of variegated sepia.
This particular finish was arrived at accidentally once upon a time, when a pair of black bespoke samples was left in the shop window for many years. Foster offers it intentionally today, for £350 ($500) per pair. Sadly, the shoes cost extra.
Many men have turned away from black shoes in favor of brown, a color that gets richer over the years. Foster's patination, which unfortunately does not occur naturally unless one has a shop window and can afford to wait a decade or two, is the one exception I know of. It is not so basic black.