The classic Chelsea Boot has long been synonymous with rock-’n’-roll chic, but it was The Beatles who really put their foot down and made it their own. It’s reported that John Lennon and Paul McCartney first encountered the Chelsea Boot in 1961 in London shoemakers Anello & Davide, and swiftly fell in love. Each of them commissioned a pair but customised them with a Cuban heel, to promote their newly adopted and more elegant sartorial image.
Impressed by this new style, George Harrison and Ringo Starr promptly followed suit. Together with their slim-fitting tailored suits, the look was an instant hit and rapidly became recognisable as their signature style - the adapted style of the Chelsea Boot even became known as the Beatle Boot.
As Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac wrote in his autobiography: ‘They were a cool thing before the Beatles, but afterwards they were mandatory’. Needless to say, the style was immediately adopted by the style elite, becoming firm favourites of the British mod culture, and remaining a popular choice of shoe for men today.