Sometimes when you’re hunting for denim you find a little more than you expect. Something to make your jeans look even better. Something that gives you that little bit of edge. Something that makes your outfit complete. Something like a great, quality hat or a rough pair of leather boots. At the winter 2014 Bread & Butter trade show we took a closer look at some exciting newcomers as well as a few trusty favourites. Oak Street Bootmakers Simple but smart. Elegant with an edge. Sophisticated and durable. That’s Oak Street Bootmakers. In a way, the boots are a testament to the global success of brand owner and maker George Vlagos’ vision: “I wanted to make boots the way they were supposed to be made – and the way they’ve been made for over 100 years.” The son of a Greek immigrant who came to America to work as a cobbler, George’s boots reflect his values: “I’m from Chicago. We believe in those midwestern values; honest pay for honest work. No bullshit. No fluff.” This philosophy is transparent in every shoe that has ever left the Oak Street manufacture. And perhaps it’s the key to Oak Street’s success. When Oakstreet Bootmakers launched their product in August 2010 the initial goal and hope was to sell 100 pairs a year. But it wouldn’t take a year: “We sold out within 24 hours on the day we launched, and we are now making 10,000 pairs of boots a year that are being worn all around the world.” But perhaps there is also another ingredient to the beauty of these boots from Chicago. One that stands behind the entire brand, every product, and every stitch; passion. George has a lot of it. Perhaps because he has loved working with boots from an early age. “When I…