G.H BASS & CO.

BASS is THE legendary footwear manufacturer who encapsulates the original American spirit and Ivy League preppy style.

In the 19th century (1876) in the state of Maine USA, G.H Bass worked as a shoemaker with an excellent reputation. Originally a tanner, he then purchased a small footwear factory and became famous for the uncompromising quality and craftsmanship of his footwear. He started supplying shoes and boots to the American Air Force. But his success in the US and abroad came in 1936 when he created a shoe for relaxation, based on that worn by Norwegian fishermen. He called the style "Weejun", a distortion of "Norwegian".

This will become the first Penny Moccasin in the world, and the start of casual chic. True to its origins, the BASS range of footwear is still handcrafted in its US factories and carries the same guarantee of quality and style that made it famous as an American brand.

G.H BASS & CO

Handmade moccasins.

G.H BASS & CO

Leather.

G.H BASS & CO

Size: from 36 to 47.

The manufacturer
Manufacturing detail
Materials and Maintenance
Size guide

Original Penny Loafer Moccasin

180,00 €

The original moccasin of the US Ivy League, the legendary “Weejun”.

  • Handmade.
  • Colours: black, cognac (brown), wine.
  • Models: men or women.
  • Sizes: from 36 to 47. These moccasins size normally. Choose your normal size. 

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Worship side

Pub Toflers

In the 19th century, wealthy sportsmen used to travel to Norway on luxury salmon fishing trips, a very fashionable pastime. While there, they took a liking to locally crafted slip-on shoes worn by the local fishermen. The name “Weejun” is a mutation of the word “Norwegian”: hand-crafted locally, their design is said to go back to Viking times. In a “deToujours” way, these privileged people hijacked this very comfortable shoe from Norwegian traditional craft – worn by farmers and fishermen as an after-work pair of slip-ons – to loaf around the spa resorts of Europe and America. The slip-on shoe quickly became a must-have in the swanky holiday resorts of the American coasts.

Upper classes worldwide love to bring back accessories from their travels and give them a new incarnation. These globe-trotters of a new kind do not worry about breaking rules, as long as they look stylish, and invariably set a trend followed a few years later by the wider public.

At the start of the 20th century, the new cool is the tanned sporty look, precursor of the relax style, which will become massively popular with youth. The Weejun is the first casual shoe. As early as 1935, Arnold Gingrich, from the powerful American Magazine Esquire, notices the Weejun in Palm Beach, Florida and realizes there is a gap in the market outside Norway or London. With his magazine, he finds an associate in the quality shoe manufacturer G.H. Bass & Co. and together they recreate and market the Weejun.

Archive Bass

An instant success which becomes a symbol of American elegance during the 20th century.

Unimpeded by its rural roots, the moccasin goes on to become in the 50s, an emblem of the preppy style among the students of the East Coast “Ivy League”, an association of private colleges. This will define male fashion for a long time to come, and leave a lasting legacy in the history of style. And even though the style of the American college youth has evolved, the Bass moccasin has never gone out of fashion. Perhaps because as well as style, it gives unequalled comfort, convenience and durability. In Anglo-Saxon culture, it was customary to slip a “penny” inside the shoe for luck on exam days.

The Weejun moccasin is definitely up there in the style firmament with other legendary pieces such as the tweed jacket, the Oxford shirt, the Chino or Khaki, or the Harrington jacket. Its lightning success arrives at a time when this moccasin fulfills all the expectations of the student youth that aspire to a more relaxed and affordable style of dressing. It brings the magic of renewal to the fashion of the time.


Miles DavisRobert RedfordGrace Kelly

From the American campuses, it will soon conquer the rest of the world. At the end of the 60s, most young Americans of both sexes would have owned a pair of these moccasins. James Dean, Miles Davis, Robert Redford, Grace Kelly and above all John Kennedy in the 50s, Michael Jackson in the 80s, everyone adopted the Weejun. 

Steve Mc Queen

Worn with a pair of Chino shorts in the 50s, a suit in the 70s, formal black at dinner parties, with twirling skirts for be-bop or disco, it will travel through times and tribes, from Sloane Rangers to punk, the jazz scene and modern art milieu.

Barefoot, or wearing well fitted lisle socks, “good girl” or “naughty girl” ankle socks, or even dripping socks, it goes with everything.

Handmade in leather from the Bass tannery, the Weejun is supple, robust, comfortable, easy to slip on and yet perfectly secure on the foot: this is probably its most enduring appeal.

Michael Jackson