Church's, better know to men as crafter of Mr. Bond, James Bond's shoes and coveted by women as a distinguished footwear manufacturer recently opened their first flagship boutique at Orchard Ion on 30 March 2010. The 250 sqm temple to leather accessories houses some of the brand's traditional and seasonal collections for both men's and women's footwear.

Church's was acquired by Prada, with support of the family in 1999. Since then, they have opened new shops in key international capitals- Milan (Galleria Vittorio Emanuele) in 2001, Paris (Rue St. Honore), Rome (via Condotti) and St. Moritz (Palace Arcade) in 2002 and New York (Madison Avenue) in 2003. Their Singapore Orchard Ion store opens amidst a slew of expansion plans involving Hong Kong, Venice, Bologna, Leeds and Edinburgh.

Pictured Left: Church's Sovereign loafers

The Turning Point for Shoes
In the early 1880s, before William Church's masterstroke, the only shoes available were "straight" shoes- these shoes didn't differentiate between left and right feet. William's "Adaptable" shoe was availabe in 6 widths in various styles, materials and most importantly, half sizes. His design won the gold medal at the Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace in 1884, building the foundations for men's shoes and the then named, Church & Co. Northampton.