Interview with shoe designer Mr. Hare

Interview with shoe designer Mr. Hare

Shoe designs you can attach romance to.

Mr. Hare, the brand, was conceived at a roadside Tapas bar in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Andalucia, Spain on July 23rd 2008. Mr hare states “I was looking at the woven leather shoes of the old gentleman sitting next to me thinking those shoes could be so awesome with a few tweaks, but who could I get to make them?” Five minutes later Mr. Hare, the brand, was born.

Before Mr. Hare the brand, Mr. Hare, the person, had a long and winding career, which included working at Lynne Franks PR in the late 80s, opening London’s only proper surf shop called Low Pressure in 1992 and working as a design consultant for British outdoor company Karrimor. As a marketing consultant Mr Hare worked for companies including Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Speedo, Caterpillar, Sebago, Dr. Martens, O’Neill, Reebok, Levi’s and Kangol.

Mr. Hare Portrait

Mr. Hare Portrait

Mr. Hare, the person, has no formal training in shoe design or any other form of design. He just knows what he needs and knows what he likes.

Mr. Hare, the person’s, goal in life is to live in a beach house somewhere hot that I can surf my older days away, before I am too old to surf. Therefore, Mr. Hare, the brand, will make a small number of essential products extremely well for the people who desire them the most. Mr. Hare, the person, believes that this is the ethical way to do business with small companies developing  pockets of great expertise instead of a few large corporations affecting a brain drain for unnecessary greedy economical gain.

Mr. Hare, the shoes, are currently designed wherever I choose. They are handmade in Empoli, in Tuscany, in Italy. In future they will be made wherever the greatest manufacturer best suited to the task is located. The daily operations of Mr. Hare, the brand, the person, the blog, happen in London.

Mr. Hare‘s designs will be on display from the 11th until the 29th September at Westfield Shopping Centre London as part of a pop up exhibition from Northampton Museum and Art Gallery’s shoe collection. Mr Hare has chosen a vintage shoe from the Northampton Museums and Art Gallery archive which is displayed alongside a shoe from his current collection.

The interview below with Mr. Hare was conducted by Ellen Sampson, Cinderella project Curator. For more information on the ground breaking Cinderella project go to http://www.northampton.gov.uk/thecinderellasyndrome

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Where do you design and what is your workspace like?  

As far away from my workspace as possible. I prefer complete separation from the administrative side of the business when I am thinking about product so I generally get started while on vacation and conclude my designs with some inspirational factory visits. Essentially I only need a pencil and a piece of paper and a clear head to design.

How does your design process work?  

It starts logically with a line list and then I see how far I can stray from the logical before reigning in the salient points to create something that has a commercial chance.

What inspires you when you design?  

I never know until it hits.

How do historic/vintage shoes inspire your designs?  

There are great engineering considerations in making shoes. They are high contact items. Old shoes show us how to best address these considerations sometimes with a stylish flourish, other times more mechanically. 

Describe the historic/vintage shoe you picked.  

I chose this sneaker because it highlight a point where traditional shoe pattern cutting and structure informed a new way of constructing a sports shoe. The toe construction borrows from a wingtip while the whole shoe uses similar styling to a traditional brogue. 

Why did you pick it? What do you love about it?  

Apart from being an Air Jordan, I picked it because it is perfect and timeless. Made on classic colours you have a shoe which is as classic as a five hole Oxford or a brogue Derby.

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