Often shoes are named after the region in which they were invented or, at least, popularised. The Derby shoe is no expectation and became popular as a sporting shoe in the 1850s, originating in Derbyshire.
The Essence of a Derby
Of course, across the pond, the Derby is also sometimes known as a Blutcher. But the essence of the shoe is the same. The Derby has a open lacing system with the quarters of the shoes sewen on top of the vamp for a more casual look. This is in contrast to Oxfords which have the quarters underneath the vamp. Beckett Simon has a great guide on the differences between the two.
Whilst the Derby originated in sporting, particularly English hunting, the style lends itself to more casual situations. So it may be paired with odd trousers, chinos, or even jeans.
To give the Derby some additional detail, the toe of the shoe can be split into 2 pieces only to be hand-stitched together. This breaks up the monotony of the shoe and brings in some subtle elegance.
Image 2. Yearn Split Toe Derby taken in Hampstead, London
Image 3. Beautifully stamped Yearn Logo