Foster & Son traces its origins to 1840, trading close to London’s Royal St. James’s Palace for 180 years.

St. James’s Palace

King Henry VIII builds his new royal palace in St. James’s, attracting his aristocratic following to pleasant countryside away from the City.

1665 Henry Jermyn

Henry Jermyn develops the area to the East of the palace as an exclusive residential district.

1778 Beau Brummel

“The Original Dandy”, was born in St. James, and transformed men’s fashion, steering the Court towards a slightly understated look: “To be truly elegant one should not be noticed.” This was the foundation of what we call “West End” style.
His statue stands a few paces from our Jermyn Street premises.
Gentlemen’s Clubs such as White’s, Brooks’s, and Pratts, open in St. James’s Street and Pall Mall, providing gentlemen with lodging, private dining and entertainment facilities.

1840 Foster & Son

In the third year of Queen Victoria’s reign, when the World’s first postal service was launched (the famous “Penny Black” stamp), and the first Cunard liner sailed for New York. For over 100 years it had been the ultimate mark of quality and service for firms like ours to trade close to the royal patronage of nearby St. James’s Palace.


During the War years, ownership changed from the Foster family to Charles Chester, who continued to build the firm’s reputation for elegantly crafted footwear, trading from 5 Duke of York Street St. James’s. The post War 1950’s and 1960’s saw a major expansion as the film industry boomed and glamour returned.


By 1966, Foster’s flourishing business had been joined by our celebrated last maker Terry Moore, who further refined our elegant designs and superb fit into the classic shapes we still make today.


By 1999 Foster & Son had been joined with luxury leather goods makers  Barrow and Hepburn Ltd. and by Henry Maxwell the famous boot and shoe-makers as a sister company.