I’m from Bradford in West Yorkshire, now 51 and remember Melanddi well. I was a kid of 16/ 17 at the time and regularly travelled to London via the train(travelled free as my dad worked for British Rail), to visit family but also to check out all the shops “Up West” for the latest gear to bust out in back home.
I was a Jazz/Funk and Soul boy(mainly Jazz) and travelled round the whole of the North and Midlands on the Alldayer Scene and being a the best dancer you could be was the order of the day back then.
On our scene, the holy grail of shoe to be seen in at that time was what we called the “Jazz Slipper”. Difficult to describe but they were a low cut shoe that almost resembled a girls court shoe or slipper, in various designs, often with a small gold badge on the outside, always in black, dark blue or red shiny patent and some in with a croc skin design. Anyone on my scene in the know new you could only get them from Melanddi and would make the pilgrimage down to the smoke to get them. A few other shops in London and the Midlands sold imitations/versions of them, but you had to go to Melanddi to get the “real thing”.
I’ve read a lot about Melanddi’s history and its heavy connections with various sub cultures, but these very special shoes and connection with our scene seems to have has never been mentioned. The kids that were travelling from far and wide to buy the Jazz slippers where mainly young, black and ultra fashion conscious.
So, just asking, does anyone remember anything about this? I’d love to know if anyone does.
Years later(possibly very early 90’s) I went to Shelly’s on Carnaby Street, bought some new shoes and got talking to the shop manager. He said he worked in various shops in Carnaby Street for years including Melanddi. When I asked him about the shoes I used to buy from there his eyes lit up, he called a shop assistant over and said to her “remember I told you about the shoes that these black guys used to travel from all over the country to buy? this is one of those guys”