F.E. Castleberry Rockets

by Frederick Egan Castleberry

At the beginning of the year, Greats approached me about designing a shoe. Greats is the Brooklyn shoe company with a reputation for turning out top-shelf sneakers made by hand in Italy. After a handful of design meetings and a lot of Americanos, the result of our collaboration is the leather trainer nicknamed the “Rocket.”

Jonah naps in the green Rockets.

Jonah naps in the green Rockets.

“There's a lot of ingredients go into being a good tennis player.”
Rod Laver

We believe the same when it comes to designing a good shoe. I started with various vintage iterations of my favorite sneaker…then set out composing a luxurious love letter to it. While the low-top tennis shoe proved to be a classic after it was first introduced in leather in the late 1960s, it felt just as timely for an homage using the best ingredients. The F.E. Castleberry for Greats Rocket is handmade in Italy of full grain leather (the only type that truly gets better with age), sports an American crocodile heel tab, dual color midsole, waxed cotton laces, and rich vegetable tan Vachetta calf leather lining.

Vachetta leather is a straight-forward material. It’s an untreated cowhide, meaning it hasn’t been dyed or treated with preservation processes that more commonplace leathers undergo. This allows it to age naturally, develop a beautiful patina (a sheen of oils and other elements from the foot that darken the Vachetta leather), and allows you to wear them barefoot. Socks, wear them only to weddings…and then, well only if it’s your own.

rockets.jpg

Since launching my eponymous made-to-measure suiting, I’ve had a penchant for little design details only my clients see or will ever know about. It’s a secret handshake, more or less, between me and the wearer. The Rocket is no exception. Up the side of the right tongue, “Rocket” is scrawled in cursive with blue ink. When laced up it’s invisible. It’s a nod to middle school when we’d scribble on our sneakers. The go-to-hell green soul and crocodile heel tab is also rendered in yellow and royal blue color ways for men and women. They’re on sale now for $240 at Greats.com.

Loafing and Weaving

by Frederick Egan Castleberry

“What makes existence really nice is virtue—with a dash of vice.”
Harry Graham

I’m a man with few vices. Fine Scotch, dark chocolate, and I suppose…tasseled loafers. My tasseled “collection” embarrassingly verges on vice. Cigar cordovan with a double leather sole, pebbled caramel calfskin, snuff suede, beat-to-hell brown calfskin, vintage Susan Bennis Warren Edwards dark brown lizard, navy suede, braided tassels, but I digress. Do I know how many pairs sit in my closet? No, nor do I want to know for fear of intervention.

If my penchant for tasseled loafers wasn’t a vice already, it certainly is now with the addition of these Allen Edmonds wide-weave leather tasseled numbers. A birthday present from the American shoemaker, they’re the perfect tasseled loafer for the guy with more pairs than he's willing to own up to. Goodyear welted, mocha lamb lining, and a full leather sole—they’re summertime keepers.

Allen Edmonds is currently having their Anniversary Sale through April 24th. It’s good time to pick up a pair...maybe an early birthday present to yourself.

English Horn Buttons


“A firm, hearty handshake gives a good first impression, and
you’ll never be forgiven if you don’t live up to it.”
P.J. O’Rourke


If a perfectly fitting jacket is like a warm embrace, the buttons are the handshake. Handshakes are telling. They let slip almost everything you need to know about a man in three seconds. The button is the handshake of the jacket. It’s the part of the jacket you'll become most intimate with. Not only are buttons functional, but good design beckons they be beautiful. Great design demands it.

God is in the detail and what we do here at F.E. CASTLEBERRY is religion. It's for that reason we hand-pick horn buttons with Lutheran conviction. Fred is (infamously) known for dismissing an entire garment’s design on buttons alone. He believes the handshake to be that important...the first impression that indelible. “If the buttons are wrong, they'll haunt me every time I open and close the jacket. It’s a terrible way to live.”

For our house style polo coat made here in New York, it doesn’t get more beautiful than English horn buttons. The best ones, made from cow and buffalo hooves and horns, are often streaked and come in a variety of colors. At 1⅛” wide, our English horn buttons envelop the pinch of your fingers, feel solid to the touch and yet as warm as a Scotch neat...which is what you want when passing this down to your sons.

Women We ❤️ Kat Harris

Women We ❤️ Kat Harris

Women We ❤️ is a chance for us to sit down with the women in our lives whose style we love, work we admire, and heart we adore. We give them the celebrated Proust Questionnaire—which dates back to 19th-century Parisian salons—and throw in a few of our own. Grab a coffee, something to take notes with, and get to know the women we love as they ponder love, death, and the meaning of life.

Without further ado, Kat Harris...

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The Coveteur Pays a Visit

by Frederick Egan Castleberry

The Coveteur is widely-recognized as the go-to source for behind-the-scenes, unparalleled access to the world’s most influential celebrities, tastemakers, and prestigious brands. Vanity Fair’s words, not mine. How I snuck into that group, we may never know—and if I did, I may never tell. Their stunning photography, award-winning writing, and intimate looks at luxury lifestyles and tastemakers began as a passion project in 2011. Six years later, they are the definitive authority on the matter.

So when my friends at Coveteur stopped by my apartment a couple weeks ago, they were granted carte blanche. At one point, I was hitting golf balls off my roof. Their idea, not mine (officer!). Pop over to the Coveteur for the full feature and interview.

The Free & Easy Suit

We choose to wear suits; they aren’t required. What they are is a uniform—and we love a good uniform. So much so that we wanted one we could walk the dog in, paint in, or simply daydream in. Our Free & Easy suit is designed for just that.

You don't have to think about it (too much). It’s cut a little looser, worn a little shorter, and made-to-measure in British fabrics like moleskin, wide-wale corduroy, and wool tweeds and thick flannels. We deconstructed it—while maintaining some of the handwork—so it feels almost as comfortable as wearing a sweater. Settle down, we said almost.

Made-to-measure wide-wale corduroy Free & Easy suit in camel ($1700).

Made-to-measure wide-wale corduroy Free & Easy suit in camel ($1700).

Here, Alex Beh takes a beat between shots in our Free & Easy wide-wale camel corduroy suit. The actor/director/writer of shorts and features including Coffees, Babe, Warren, and the newly released Three Women is currently working on his second feature film The Next Darling. Here, in a red cashmere knit hat, grey scarf, and a Boast fleece sweatshirt, Mr. Beh turns out a loose iteration of our uniform. Wear twice a week. Repeat.