STYLE

Bill Morneau Chooses Canadian Firm Poppy Barley For Pre-Budget New Shoes Tradition

03/20/2017 04:07 EDT | Updated 03/20/2017 10:38 EDT

The federal budget is being released on Wednesday and you know what that means — Canada's finance minister is getting a nice, new pair of shoes.

On Monday, Bill Morneau showed off his choice: a lovely dress Oxford from Canadian company Poppy Barley.

Morneau is keeping alive a unique Canadian tradition — the one where the finance minister gets new shoes just before the budget is delivered.

Caroline Gault, Poppy Barley's director of content and community, told The Huffington Post Canada that Morneau's office emailed the Edmonton-based shoe company last week. He ended up purchasing the Edmonton Oxford in black, "the dressiest shoe" in the line, in a standard size 12.

Poppy Barley, named after both poppy seeds and barley corns — the original unit of measurement in shoe making in the Middle Ages — was very excited to be the minister's footwear choice this year, said Gault.

"I think the main reason is we're obviously a Canadian-based shoe company and that we're a female-founded company with ethically manufacturing," Gault told HuffPost Canada. "We're actually the first company in North America to offer custom fashion boots online. So I think it's a great fit for us."


Canadian sisters Justine and Kendall Barber launched the company in 2012, catering to both men and women. After Justine visited a custom boot shop in Bali, Poppy Barley moved to specialize in offering "flexibility in sizing and inventory through small-batch manufacturing."

As Morneau noted in his Twitter post, his shoes were ethically made in León, Mexico.

"[Justine] thought this would be so cool to be able to offer this experience online and have that pair of custom shoes made for you and shipped to your door," Gault told HuffPost Canada. "León is referred to as the shoe capital of the world so [Justine and Kendall] flew down their and were looking for a factory that could do custom and made-to-order shoes."

Poppy Barley is already making a name for itself in the Canadian fashion industry, landing a nomination in the "Emerging Fashion Design" category at the upcoming Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards.


So did the finance minister get a discount on his new shoes? Nope.

"He paid $250 for the in-stock pair because it was a size 12 standard," Gault revealed.

Poppy Barley's website lists the Edmonton Oxford for $398, but that price is for a custom order.

poppy barley edmonton oxford

With files from Althia Raj