From the Alden heads with a closet full of them to the initiates planning their first investment, we're all just a bunch of weirdos that dig Alden shoes in a major way.
When we notified our survey winner, Tommy Harden of Portland, OR, that he had won, his response was exactly what we wanted to hear: “HOLY SHIT!" We knew Tommy was as excited as we were about all this so we threw all our Aldens in a U-Haul van and tore ass down to Portland to meet him in person.
Tommy arrived just as our Stumptown buzzes were kicking in. He works close by at Wieden+Kennedy as a film editor and recently won an Emmy for his work on a Chrysler commercial about Detroit featuring Eminem that was featured during Super Bowl XLV. Watch and dig:
Tommy is also a painter, is building a home studio, lives in SE Portland and provided us with a snapshot of a recent piece he's been working on (see below). He prefers boots to shoes and recently acquired a pair of Wolverine 1000 Mile boots though an Alden purchase had been simmering on the backburner.
After some close scrutiny and multiple try-ons of different styles, Tommy opted for the Hauff’s Department Store boot and was thrilled at the comfort, fit, and “any occasion” style. The black Regina calfskin grain leather, the perforated straight tip cap toe, the high blucher style boot, the pull tab, not to mention the vintage ERCO heel design, all add up to a classic dress/work boot combination.
We asked Tommy what led him to seek out a pair of Aldens and what he told us was as well put as it gets: "I used to be a bit of a punk who enjoyed giving the finger to anything you might consider 'traditional.' At a certain point I realized the immaturity of that, and rejected originality in favor of quality and integrity. Where that finally brought me, and how I see it now, is not that originality and quality are opposed to one another, but that the effort to create something of true quality, if taken to its fullest extent, will always result in something that feels original and true to itself. Even if the techniques and concepts it took you to get there aren't new, what you end up with will feel new. So in a sense that's what Aldens represent to me: an extraordinary amount of traditional craftsmanship resulting in something that feels strongly unique unto itself."
Thanks again Tommy, and thank you again to all of you.
Check out the originality and quality of Alden for yourself, here.