Known best for creating beautifully crafted shoes for the modern man, What?! Magazine sits down and catches five minutes with the talented Mr Hare to talk about all things shoe.
What was the first pair of designer shoes you ever bought? What drew you to them?
I was 18 and I remember marching down Bond Street to the Gucci store with £129 in cash for a pair of black suede loafers with the leather saddle and gold horse bit. I thought I had arrived. This was way before Tom Ford when Gucci was essentially an old mans brand. In 1988 Gucci only made about 3000 pairs worldwide so they were fairly exclusive down Stockwell side in those days.
If there was any moment in shoe fashion history that you could change, what would it be and why?
I am very happy with shoe fashion history. If it hadn’t played out exactly the way it had, then there would not be a perfect Mr. Hare shaped hole in it for me to occupy right now.
If you were a shoe, what kind would you be? and why?
Depends on the day. At work I am an 11 hole bovver boot stomping my way through. At night I am an elegant patent and black suede evening shoe with special dance moves. Downtime I would say I am a calf leather running sneaker, relaxed but still quite special. and in private I am usually barefoot.
What are your views on the “meel”, the man’s heel, do you think it would ever catch on or not, and why?
I love a man heel. I have some cubans in the Mr. Hare mainline collection which I wear quite often. At first they feel quite strange to walk in but as soon as you stop fighting the urge to switch like a girl, they become quite liberating. Why do you think all cowboys wear them, to control the horse? Yeah right! It is not a short guy thing either. I am 6’4 in my socks. My heels take me to 6’6 and a half. It’s a whole different world up there.
What’s it like to collaborate with Topman on a collection? How is it different from your own label?
It was not all that different at all. The process is just the same, only the materials have changed. You can’t make a Mr. Hare shoe at those prices, but I can design Top mans shoes at those prices. The real difference is just how many journalists have written about them compared to my own line. A little Topman glitter goes a long way.
What’s next for Mr Hare?
A Holiday. Some pescado a la plancha, some Rose, some sun on my ass, swimming in
the sea, dancing on the beach, some flesh to flesh and…what was the question
David Mahoney. What?! Magazine Online Editor. firstname.lastname@example.org
Images from Mr Hare