I’d just chatted with Alden president Robert Clark a couple of weeks ago at the big menswear trade show here in New York. He didn’t mention this developing news story, but he confirmed it yesterday via email.
Apparently following a request from Gucci, Alden is discontinuing its bit loafer. “Gucci did ask us to stop using the bit
ornament,” said Clark, “and since the style was not important to us, we agreed to do so.”
There was never a lawsuit, he added, as was discussed on the Ask Andy Trad Forum.
No word yet if Gucci is also leaning on other makers of bit loafers, including Ivy Style sponsors Jay Butler and Oak Street Bootmakers.
Those who despise the shoe may be rejoicing that they will be spared the visual nausea of having to look at them. On the other hand, prohibitions tend to bring about unintended consequences, and perhaps there will be a renaissance of knock-offs and imitators.
In the meantime, if you’ve always wanted to try the Aldens or want to ensure you have a pair left to be buried in, call your Alden dealer right away. — CC