Imperial holes. The brogue’s upper was originally drilled for “technical” reasons. Holes helped to keep the shoe dry in case of rain or, vice versa, cool in summer. Today there are completely different devices: leather is processed in order to become actually waterproof. However, that early device is now a distinctive and ornamental sign. The brogue, born three centuries ago, lost quickly its original purpose, utilitarian and sporty, becoming an iconic accessory. Legend has it that Edward VII – King of Great Britain, Ireland and Emperor of India (for only one year, in 1936) – was the first one, as a prince, to sanction the swallowtail lace up shoes, wearing them during a formal event. Custom-made brogues by Paul Smith Personal Service. 

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