It’s always enjoyable to meet the people behind the brands, blogs or other entities that interest you and London Fashion Week gave us ample opportunity to do so, where we meet shoe designer ‘Mr.Hare’, bespoke shoe makers CarreDucker Bespoke and men’s shoe blogger extraordinaire, ‘The Shoe Snob‘.
Firstly, we bumped into Marc Hare, or Mr. Hare (pictured above) as his eponymous label is known. When a label is as feted as his is, frequently appearing in Esquire and other international style mags, it’s easy to imagine grand personas and unapproachable fashion divas lie behind these brands. Mr. Hare was exactly the opposite: informally chatty about his line, his views on what people are wearing at London Fashion Week and all the while, able to spot from a mile off anyone wearing his shoes, each time a smile crossing his face as he points them out to us. Although he was not exhibiting at LFW, he tells us he is simply there to check it out. His line continues to be an unusual mix of classics and models which move along the spectrum toward more fashion forward shoes inspired by the various cultural talking points which interest and inspire him. He invites us to his studio for a look at his collection and this is something we definitely will be following up on soon.
CarreDucker Bespoke - London studio (not Savile Row).
CarreDucker are a bespoke shoemaking duo with a concession based in Gieves & Hawkes of Savile Row. Deborah Carre, one half of the shoemakers, introduces herself, getting up from her workbench to greet us and introduce her label’s shoes and to tell us about how she got started. Seeing all of the shoemaking tools, pieces of leather and equipment lying around, I nervously venture: ‘Is this all just for show with everything actually made by someone else or some company in Northampton?’ Not at all. The shoes she is making will be entirely made by hand on site in Savile Row. Wow. And I don’t use the word ‘wow’ lightly.
There are elegant matt-crocodile leather shoes on display (unlike her Italian counterparts who would typically use a highly polished skin), lizard skins and of course your standard calf-skins all in our presence.
Deborah, quite innocently, tells me her favourite customers are not the Russian oligarchs or the Arab sheiks who so often dominate the clientele of the bespoke artisan, but instead those who might have previously had difficulty finding a nice pair of shoes to fit ‘off the rack’ (perhaps for medical reasons). “It’s nice to see my work can give people confidence in what they are wearing for the first time, and watch them carrying themselves differently when wearing my shoes.”
What a breath of fresh air in the world of fashion to hear these sentiments. And what better reason to become a bespoke shoemaker.
Prices start about £2800 for a pair of fully bespoke shoes to your foot shape and design.