Sperry the heritage footwear label, is re-asserting its influential role in American style in AW19, presenting its iconic Authentic Original boat shoe from 3 collections: Top-Sider, Gold Cup and Cloud, at New York Men’s Day. Founder Paul Sperry is credited for inventing the first boat shoe in 1935.
Sperry also developed a non- slip sole, created by cutting a zig zag pattern into the rubber sole, now called siping, which prevents slipping on wet boat decks. Sperry also came up with a new way of tanning leather so that repeated exposure to salt and water wouldn’t crumble the shoes to bits.
For AW19, the brand is drawing on its heritage as a preppy staple, and is taking the lead on one of the season’s top trends—varsity prep. Authentic Originals are warmed up with a nod to traditional ivy attitude in fall colors, blackwatch plaid, and combinations of tactile wools, suede, nubuck and corduroy. The Gold Cup Collection is elevated to the last eyelet, featuring the best leathers, the most careful construction, and obsessive attention to comfort. Gold Cup boat shoes feature Italian leather and rust-proof eyelets –which are the definition of durable. Softer-than-soft leather surrounds luxury lambskin linings and a supportive sole for a second skin fit that never gets old. For AW19, lug soles update the classic Gold Cup Authentic Original boat shoe.
Cloud is a collection of cutting-edge interpretations of the brand’s classic styles. The pinnacle expression of Sperry’s classic silhouettes, the AW19 collection was created in collaboration with Brendon Babenzien of the NY-based menswear brand Noah, who brings a rich appreciation of Sperry’s heritage and DNA to the Cloud collection. Cloud includes a new mix of materials and colorways embracing the aesthetics of the fall season, including a marine-inspired palette, and cozy fabrics including pebbled leather, hairy suede and corduroy.
“I love the idea of working with a brand that I’ve been a fan of my whole life and being able to have just a slightly different point of view without losing the core of who they are,” says Babenzien. “Growing up, it was just super common to have a pair in rotation all of the time,” he adds. Additionally, Babenzien creates Noah x Sperry — a seasonal co-branded collaboration for Sperry with his own menswear label.
“The best way to pay homage to and honor Paul Sperry’s bold thinking is to reinvent his style ethos and original silhouettes through a modern-day lens,” says Adam Meek, VP of Global Product. “By reimagining these tried-and-true styles with unexpected twists, we create something both familiar and fresh—the perfect blend for the style conscious and classic-prep faithful.”