I saw some of the new-style Church's shoes in Jermyn Street yesterday, though I did not spot the fume leather (disappointingly). For what it's worth, I looked at some of the more casual shoes from crepe-soled desert boots to moccasin-style loafers. I must say if you're after that type of footwear, they didn't look half bad. Not as good as the royals though! It will be interesting, hopefully in a good way, to see what becomes of Regent Street.
While on Jermyn Street I did a little tour of the shoe stores - I've previously only really visited for shirts on the street. I first looked into Lobb and Edward Green. All very pleasant, clean, and modern but unremarkable as retail experiences - the shoes a different matter, of course. Crockett and Jones was very interesting as they seemed to have a wider range than I've seen before. Hand-grade double monks and different lasts and so on.
Tricker's is a lovely shop. I got to see the "so bad it's good" ugliness of the Stow boot up close and some of the channeled offerings on the 2004 last. But the best shop experience was Foster & Son. The smell of leather when you open the door is intoxicating. Inside, a very old, traditional feel. An aladdin's cave of a store room at the back. Beautiful shoes (i think someone said they're now made by Sargent rather than Green but no matter). Lots of odds and ends and display cases with bespoke lasts and other paraphernalia. I was really impressed with the shop.
Perhaps, and we can only hope, taking their cue from Foster & Son, the Church's concept store will be modelled on an old cobbler's or shoemaker's.