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Barker Black boutique bows on North Robertson

November 22, 2010 |  1:20 pm


The Barker Black folks celebrated the opening of just their second U.S. boutique on Thursday, a 500-square-foot shoebox of a shop at 450 North Robertson Blvd.

Until now, the footwear and accessories label (which traces its British heritage back as far as 1880) has made do with a single standalone space on Elizabeth Street in New York City, e-commerce through its own website, and distribution through stores like Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus (including the San Francisco and Beverly Hills locations in California).

The brand is known for its seriously high-end dress shoes  -- painstakingly made and exquisite-looking   wingtips, spectators and loafers that run in the $775-$925 price range. (Apparently, each finished leather shoe is left on its last for up to a month -- during which it's suspended from the factory ceiling to Shoe_barker cure like a gourmet ham -- a process which is designed to help the hand-finished product retain its shape.)

Even if you're not familiar with the handiwork, you've likely seen the distinctive Barker Black Skull-and-crossbones logo, which not only adorns bold pocket squares and neckties but can be seen rendered in the subtle perforations punched in the toe of a shoe, or hand-tacked into a sole.

In addition to the full Barker Black shoe collection, the new store also offers made-to-order services, as well as neckwear, pocket squares and braces.

And, with a location just a loafer's toss diagonally down from the John Varvatos store (at the corner of Melrose and North Robertson) and just around the corner from Maxfield, Barker Black's presence further establishes that WeHo neighborhood cluster as a must-visit for high-end menswear.

 Barker Black, 450 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood. (310) 358-0293. Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

-- Adam Tschorn

Photo: At top, Barker Black's creative director Derrick Miller at Thursday's grand opening party for the brand's second U.S. boutique. Credit: Chris Weeks. At bottom, a selection of the label's skull-and-crossbone bearing shoes and neckties. Credit: Barker Black.