Skip to content
#EGMeets: George Glasgow Jr. of George Cleverley

#EGMeets: George Glasgow Jr. of George Cleverley

One of the most charismatic characters in the menswear and footwear industry, George Glasgow Jr. is passionate about craft, style and cigars, amongst other things. We caught up with him at The Hari in London as part of our #EGMeets series.

George Glasgow Jr. of George Cleverley, EGM Cigars, Patek Philippe 5712R Nautilus

EGM: Firstly, thanks for taking the time to be part of our #EGMeets series! It’s been long in the making!

George Glasgow Jr.: I know! We’ve been talking about it for ages, but then you know, things happen, travel, but we got there in the end!

EGM: You’re a massive cigar guy. How did you get into this world?

GGJ: Well you know what, it was probably organically from clients. Same with a lot of the things I’ve gotten slightly more knowledgeable on; it’s from hanging out with people that tend to buy my shoes—they’ll often like nice watches, vintage cars, cigars, so I guess, I don’t want to use the term ‘on-the-job training’ but it kind of was! You would hang out with people from all over the world and they’d give you and tell you what they like, you’d try different things, sample cigars from different countries and so on. Like a lot of things, it eventually becomes a bit of a hobby—it’s almost like going down a rabbit hole. The more you learn, the more you want to learn. And then the more you know… then the things you thought you knew about a year ago, you’re like, actually I never even touched the surface!

The Hari, London

EGM: Do you remember the first cigar you smoked?

GGJ: I think it was something from Davidoff!

EGM: Well that’s not surprising at all!

GGJ: I don’t remember exactly who it was, but a friend of mine had been given a set of cigars from Davidoff, and he said we have to try these. They were amazing, but I didn’t have another for around six months or so. For me, whilst I love cigars, it’s not an everyday thing. It’s more of an occasion. It’s still an event for me. I very much enjoy when I do smoke with the right company.

EGM: What would you say is your go-to cigar at the moment?

GGJ: Well I tell you what I most enjoy generally - vintage cigars. I wanted to show you this picture I took of one, I had two or three months ago. It’s a vintage Davidoff No. 1. Absolutely remarkable. It was a place on St. James’s Street I wasn’t too familiar with but a friend of mine took me there.

George Glasgow Jr

EGM: James J. Fox?

GGJ: Yes, it was J.J. Fox! It was a No. 1, very hard to get and very expensive. Luckily I didn’t have to pay for it! That was the nicest cigar that I’d ever had. It wasn’t heavy, had a fantastic flavour profile that built and so enjoyable. For me, that would be my ultimate cigar.

EGM: If you could smoke those once a month…

GGJ: Exactly! I’m not quite sure that’d be on the cards mind! I like Cohibas, they’d probably be my go-to. In terms of accessibility. It’s also sort of at a price point I’d be willing to enjoy.

EGM: Moving into the menswear world, are there any brands—excluding George Cleverley—that you appreciate at the moment?

GGJ: Yeah in terms of personal preference, I like Thom Sweeney, this suit is by them. We did a collaboration with them and they actually sell our shoes in their store. I like their style and aesthetic.

EGM: It’s almost made in Thom and Luke’s personal style.

GGJ: It is and it works really well. I also like Brunello Cucinelli on the Italian side. They do a great job, I’m a good customer of theirs. Their outerwear, I love their coats—my wife does as well. I love Anderson & Sheppard, they’re my usual go-to for suits and I love their haberdashery. I get lots of little bits and accessories from them. I’ve got some lovely jackets from Huntsman that I’ve had for years and wear religiously. I’ve got a jacket with a purple undercollar that Dario [Carnera] made for me around fifteen years ago—I love it. That for me, and with menswear, I try to buy things that aren’t going to be trends. I want to have stuff that I’ll be able to wear for fifteen, twenty years. And that’s what’s nice about our industry—things are built to last. People say, 'oh you know but it’s expensive', but they’re made to last, so they’ll end up being better in value in the long run. It’s not something you’re going to have for six months. Same with clothes. If you stick to something quite timeless, you’ll get extremely good value.

George's bespoke George Cleverley shoes

I’ll give you a prime example. There’s a restauranteur called Mr. Chow, who’s a very good friend and client of ours. And he probably goes back since the ‘60s buying our shoes. I saw him in the shop last week when he was visiting London. He’s in his 80s now, lovely guy, and he had this pair of shoes on and said to me, “George, I got these shoes in ‘68. I’ve had nearly sixty years of enjoyment from all of my shoes. I was so glad I got them young, it was an investment but worth it.” The more mileage you put on the shoes, the better. They become like friends.

EGM: Going into George Cleverley, tell our audience more about this history...

GGJ: The actual Cleverley name goes back over a hundred years. A lot of people immediately think of George Cleverley, he was a fantastic shoemaker, but what people might not know is that he came from a family of shoemaking: his nephew, his father were also shoe makers. Even though the business was officially set up in 1958, the name goes back much further. Probably more so than anything, back in those days shoes, army boots, they were cumbersome, heavy, full round toes, and that was the look nearly every shoemaker was doing, especially in the ‘40s and ‘50s. Cleverley was probably, then, far advanced, and made that suspiciously square-toed shoe that had a nice silhouette and made your foot look attractive. It wasn’t as popular then as it is now, and it's more in-demand as ever today. When he made Winston Churchill a pair of shoes, he said they weren’t round and not square either, but suspiciously square, which was such a great way of putting it. He was also putting elastic in his shoes, the imitation lacing, he made that in the fifties before many of these businesses were around. He was ahead of his time, especially with comfort, ease and flexibility. It eventually became known as the lazy man shoe!

George with EGM Cigars

What’s quite remarkable is that specifically back then, Cleverley made shoes for Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, Fred Astaire. These were really iconic, well-dressed individuals, that today, you think, how did they find this guy that randomly worked in Cork Street in Mayfair, in a basement? How did they find him! And it was really through word of mouth. Churchill recommended Cleverley to President Eisenhower, because he saw his slippers. It’s quite remarkable. We like to think we’ve continued the legacy, but rather than living in the past of who we used to be and make for, we’re now making for today’s modern day greats. Not just in fashion and entertainment, but titans of industry.

EGM: I'd be remiss not to ask about the watch…

GGJ: This is the 5712R Nautilus, only came out last month, and the movement and the complication, and the new clasp, it’s very unique. It’s one of only fifteen in the UK at this moment so I was super happy that I was able to get one. I love rose gold; it’s one of Patek’s classics, but a newer version with the movement which is nice. I’m wearing it with a suit now, but I can wear it with a t-shirt and shorts in the summer. It’s incredibly versatile, a timeless piece and hopefully someday something I can give to my kids.

Patek Philippe 5712R Nautilus

EGM: What’s in the pipeline for you in 2023?

GGJ: So I’ve got another daughter on the way, due early next year, so it’ll be a house full of ladies!

EGM: Congratulations!

GGJ: I’ve also got a girl dog called Cleverley! In terms of the brand, we’ve got some really nice collaborations we’ve been working on which’ll be releasing April time. Five films we’ve worked on including a new Jason Statham and Guy Ritchie film with Hugh Grant. We’ve got a Matthew Vaughn and Henry Cavill film called Argylle. The new season of Tulsa King with Sylvester Stallone. All wearing our shoes, as well as the new Kingsman collection. Can you believe next year will be nine years since we’ve been doing two collections a year with Kingsman, and we’re one of the best selling brands on Mr. Porter still. It’s still going exceptionally strong. We’ve reintroduced our Asia trunk shows too following the pandemic.

EGM: Quite a lot for a small and independently-owned business!

GGJ: Exactly!

George Cleverley

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published..

Quick Shop