At Work: Mr. Hare’s Killer Collection

We go and see shoe designer Marc Hare at his Arnold Circus studio

“Generally speaking I’m obsessed with exotic skins and for this season I’m using a lot of python leather… The collection is mostly made up of animals that kill things! That’s why it’s called Killer. But I don’t mean that in a morbid way; I use the word killer as in ‘That’s a killer pair of shoes’!

I’ve always liked shiny shoes. I think most guys wear matt shoes because they’re lazy and can’t be arsed to polish them – so I make them shiny to start with so that it’s taken care of for you, we’ve done all the hard work for you. The shoes in my collection that I’m most excited about is the Scarpe Nero section. I’ve long wanted to be able to make high quality Italian shoes that are affordable. I use another factory compared to the other shoes, but these are still all-Italian from top to bottom, made in top quality by artisan craftsmen. I started out making black shoes: everyone needs a pair in contemporary style. But I’ve added a few details, like neoprene and patterns, to make them stand out.

The Italians have a long history of making elegant shoes. Here in the UK we still make excellent world-class shoes, but the industry is disappearing and there’s no shrinkage of factories in Italy. Plus, the Italians have the best leathers – even UK factories use them. Northampton brands tend to make heavier and weather resistant shoes whereas Italian ones have a lighter construction, suitable for the Italian lifestyle. And that works for Mr. Hare as I want elegant killer shoes! I’m obsessed with hot weather and holiday shoes. Also, when you visit a factory in Pisa, and you’re walking in sunny rolling hills, can’t help make suave car shoes.”

Photography Photo Nikolas Ventourakis