Founded in 1891, J. M. Weston takes its craftsmanship seriously, manufacturing some of the best-in-class Derbys, Loafers, Oxfords, and other brown shoes. The 180 Loafer, however, is probably the brand’s most famous shoe, due to its rebellious history.
The 180 Loafer was designed after the Second World War, around 1946, following a 1926 trip to the US by Eugene Blanchard, where he was inspired by the classic penny loafer. It wasn’t until the ’60s, however, that the 180 Loafer hit the heights of its popularity.
In the ’60s, the music group, Bande du Drugstore was enjoying relatively large success in France. The band consisted of young people that came from wealthy, partly aristocratic families, but who had rejected the privileged lives of their parents.
They were rebels, and they wore — you guessed it — J. M. Weston 180 Loafers. But they didn’t just wear loafers, they wore them without socks, while wearing jeans, and thus rejected the preconceived notion of the times of how to style loafers. Soon, all the cool kids in France, mostly in high school or university, were also wearing 180 Loafers.
J. M. Weston’s 180 Loafer enjoyed a second rebellious phase soon after, during the riots and uprisings in May 1968. The aforementioned students, who were wearing 180s because of Bande du Drugstore, were still wearing their loafers while fighting the police in the streets of Paris. Needless to say, the J. M. Weston 180 Loafer reached cult status among France’s youth in the ’60s before its mainstream success meant its rebellious history was slowly forgotten.
Nowadays, it’s one of the best loafers money can buy, while secretly being one of the most rebellious too. Find out everything you need to know about this drop below.
How to Buy the Highsnobiety x J.M. Weston 180 Loafer
Brand: Highsnobiety x J. M. Weston
Model: 180 Loafer
Release Date: Available now
Buy: Exclusively at Highsnobiety Shop
Key Details: Highsnobiety’s take on the classic J. M. Weston 180 Loafer features a luxe green suede upper with a box-calf leather lining.
To commemorate Not In Paris 3, our official event logo is emblazoned on the foot bed of the loafers as a subtle reminder of the standout occasion, and each pair is delivered with two vintage 1 Franc coins to add an optional dose of Gallic flair to the penny slot on the upper. Shop it above.
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