Earlier this year, a new take on the Belgian slipper strolled nonchalantly onto the menswear scene, commanded the room, charmed the women and closed more deals than Bernie Madoff circa 2007. Incidentally, the man himself was often spotted in a Belgian slipper, but this maverick shoe was no Ponzi scheme; it was a truly authentic embodiment of quality and craftsmanship, and also beat a path through the thicket of choice that is men’s luxury footwear today.
The newcomer, of course, is the Sagan loafer by Baudoin & Lange. Celebrated for the incomparable comfort the Sagan provides, Baudoin & Lange has succeeded in designing and creating a product that is both beautiful and comfortable, modern and classic, crafted in England, and instantly recognisable. All this, without compromising on style, integrity or quality. It was this powerful sense of identity in particular that resonated strongly with The Rake, and the sense of anticipation the house has cultivated – what will B&L do next? – is something we hope to both answer and build on with our exclusive collaboration. Here, we introduce two timeless colourways; chocolate brown suede with lizard skin aprons, and navy blue suede with alligator aprons. Created for The Rake, they imbue a classic design with a serious dose of luxury by way of flawless skins that simply aren’t available anywhere else.
This collaboration has also highlighted how much love and attention goes into the construction and craftsmanship of each immaculate loafer; from hand-lasting the uppers with a shock-absorbent insole (rather than the usual insert), to the three dot logo hand-hammered into the heel of the shoe, Baudoin & Lange is as close as one can get to bespoke footwear without the lengthy wait and multiple fittings, not to mention the often-tricky wearing-in process. Which makes perfect sense; one half of the company’s namesake Allan Baudoin has a history in bespoke shoemaking; having spent years on his feet in his workshop, he wanted to create something that was not only comfortable but enjoyable to wear all day, as well as being able to take him effortlessly from morning meeting to working bench to evening drinks. In pursuit of this, Allan's bespoke and shock-absorbent insole has achieved a sumptuous softness of step. Together with Bo van Langeveld, a financier and ex-racing driver tired of suffering the pain and formality of office shoes, the pair’s dual need and knowledge inspired a loafer like no other, the Sagan.