London is well known as home to many of the world’s finest artisanal brands. Two roads that instantly conjure up images of timeless style are Mayfair’s Savile Row and Jermyn Street, but some of the lesser known arcades that dissect this affluent district house some true gems – brands that embody the historic appeal of the city itself. Whether you’re looking for silk dressing gowns or hand-made chocolates, artisanal fragrances or vintage watches, Mayfair’s classic arcades are filled with treasures just waiting to be uncovered. The Royal Arcade is one such example, and a highlight of this covered alley – designed to protect London’s wealthy punters from the rain – is a shoemaker that dates back to 1958, George Cleverley.
Cleverley are widely regarded as one of the world’s best bespoke shoemakers. Established nearly 60 years ago by its eponymous founder, the brand is still family owned and run by George Glasgow Snr and Jr, the latter of whom you see before you. Glasgow Jr is the CEO and Creative Director of Cleverley, and splits his time between the Royal Arcade shop and Los Angeles, where he caters to a Hollywood clientele consisting of such figures of Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham.
Glasgow Jr grew up in the business of shoemaking, but he’s always had an appreciation of craft as a whole; from luxurious sports cars to fine watches, his favourite brand of which is Patek Philippe. Although he owns a couple of the Swiss watchmaker’s most iconic models, he favours the Nautilus for its all-round versatility and distinct look. Here, he tells The Rake what he styles his watches with, and how he got into Patek Philippe in the first place.