Founded in 2004, Carréducker are award-winning independent handsewn shoemakers with a bespoke workshop and training school in the iconic Oxo Tower on London’s South Bank.

EXHIBITIONS / COLLECTIONS:

Over the years, the pair have showcased the heritage craft of bespoke shoe making at numerous events, exhibitions and venues including  St. James’ Palace, the Concours d’Elegance Hampton Court Palace, the Victoria & Albert Museum, at the Crafts Council’s Origin and Added Value exhibitions, Crafted: Makers of Excellence at Somerset House and The Royal Academy, at James Purdey & Sons during London Craft Week and in the window of Gieves & Hawkes, No.1 Savile Row.

May 2023 FUTURE ICONS SELECTS, Barge House, South Bank, London

October 2023 FORMED with FUTURE HERITAGE, Design Centre Chelsea, Chelsea Harbour, London

Since 2016 PERMANENT COLLECTION, THE DESIGN MUSEUM LONDON

AWARDS:

2021 GLOBAL FOOTWEAR AWARDS

2018 QEST AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE

2017 HERITAGE CRAFTS MARSH ‘MADE IN BRITAIN’ AWARD

2011 BALVENIE MASTERS OF CRAFT

1997 QUEEN ELIZABETH SCHOLARSHIP TRUST SCHOLAR

BOOKS:

Carreducker are proud to be featured in the following books, a great read if you’re interested in craft and British craftsmen:

CRAFT BRITAIN: WHY MAKING MATTERS by David Linley and Helen Chislett

MADE IN LONDON by Carmel King and Mark Brierley; Merrell Publishing

FORGE & CARVE by Canopy Press

A CELEBRATION OF BRITISH CRAFTSMANSHIP by the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust

THE BEGINNING

The company grew from the serendipitous meeting of two people passionate about the centuries-old craft of handsewn shoemaking, Deborah Carré and James Ducker.

Deborah and James both completed traditional apprenticeships as hand sewn shoemakers (Deborah as a Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust scholar and James as a John Lobb apprentice). After several years following separate paths, they joined forces in 2004 to found Carréducker.

BESPOKE SHOE SERVICE

Carréducker craft beautiful bespoke shoes and boots for private individuals. Rather than a house-style, theirs is an eclectic, magpie-approach designing shoes to suit a client’s personal style and aesthetic.

They keep the traditional handsewn craft relevant and exciting with a number of different services – notably Bespoke Handsewn & Bespoke Manufactured – offering customers a wide variety of colours, leathers, detailing, styles and sole options to suit modern life.

Carréducker customers can visit their workshop in Oxo Tower by appointment, to view a full selection of bespoke footwear from bespoke manufactured sneakers to bespoke handsewn dress shoes alongside leather and detailing options or arrange for Head of Bespoke ,James Ducker to visit them. They also deliver the bespoke shoe service at Gieves & Hawkes flagship store at No.1 Savile Row where they visit clients by appointment.

For those customers unable to travel,  Carréducker successfully introduced their virtual measurement and fitting service comprising a specially designed kit, ‘how to measure’ film and Zoom support to walk customers through the bespoke experience.

A leather work boot made in Britain

CARREDUCKER LONDON

As shoemakers, their enthusiasm for British-made extends beyond bespoke and they work with a number of specialist British footwear manufacturers to create limited edition boots. Aware of footwear’s environmental impact, theirs is a sustainable approach. Providing detailed information about fit on the website and making only to order minimises the number of returns.

The boots are designed to be durable and repairable, made from natural, veg. tanned leathers (better for feet and the environment). All of the leather is a byproduct of the meat and dairy industry.

The first Carréducker London design was the Half-Cut shoe, developed with R.E.Tricker in Northampton and sold through Susannah Hall Tailors in Clerkenwell; subsequent styles include British-made, unisex Winkers slip-ons and Barkan desert boots; and Carreducker London continues with the ever-popular leather Tor boot, made by William Lennon in Derbyshire.

CARREDUCKER ACCESSORIES

As makers, their enthusiasm for the natural qualities of vegetable tanned leather go well beyond shoemaking.

They have designed and developed a collection of saddle stitched accessories, made from naturally tanned leathers sourced from a special group of Italian tanneries in Tuscany.

These beautiful, tactile and durable accessories include a felt-lined Mac Book case, a perfectly-sized portmanteau, sunglasses case, pen case, secateurs holster, belt and dog collar….and of course the classic three-pocket card case and key fob; all made to order.

They also offer bespoke customers the opportunity to have accessories designed to complement their shoes from belts and bags to card cases and key fobs.

SHOE & LEATHER SCHOOL – PASSING ON THEIR SKILLS

As well as creating beautiful bespoke shoes, Carréducker are at the forefront of traditional handsewn shoe making training in Great Britain. They established their own shoemaking school in 2006, so that students could access the skills and techniques only previously available through traditional apprenticeships.

Over the years they have trained hundreds of students from around the world and showcased their craft skills at numerous events, exhibitions and venues including the Victoria & Albert Museum, Crafted: Makers of Excellence, at Somerset House and the Royal Academy during London Craft Week and in the window of Gieves & Hawkes, No.1 Savile Row. Today their work is part of the permanent exhibition at the Design Museum London.

This accessible approach has helped to launch numerous shoemakers on their paths and created hundreds of shoe making enthusiasts around the world.

Today their Shoe & Leather School in London offers a range of workshops throughout the year – from one day and evening classes to the duo’s famous 12-day intensive course – alongside shoe pattern making and leather saddle stitch classes. Students often continue making, supported by the Supplies Shop an invaluable resource for kits, materials, leather and tools, as well as online film tutorials and  Zoom support .

learn how to make shoes
Carréducker Shoe Making School students and their shoes

DIGITAL SHOEMAKERS CONFERENCE – BRINGING THE COMMUNITY TOGETHER

In 2021 and 2022, during the Covid pandemic, Carréducker hosted two Digital Independent Shoemaking Conferences to bring shoemakers together online. They filmed interviews and curated a mix of pre-recorded films, live Zoom interviews and panel discussions along with open forum meet-ups for delegates featuring speakers from Seoul to Seattle and attracting over 230 delegates.

Tale a look at the Library of interviews and technique workshops from the conferences here.

WORSHIPFUL COMPANY OF CORDWAINERS

Today, James and Deborah are even more immersed in the world of shoe making in Britain as Freemen of the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers. Cordwainers are shoemakers who practised their trade for centuries within the walls of the City of London. Today, members of the Cordwainers support footwear education and the shoe industry, and continue the remarkable legacy of charitable giving which unites the City liveries.

Originally founded to regulate specific trades and crafts within the City, most livery companies now have strong charitable traditions, often connected to their original trades. According to a recent survey by the Pan-Livery Committee, the livery movement (maded up of 110 livery companies) is one of the top six grant givers in the UK, with annual aggregate giving of £72 million. The Cordwainers are number 27 in the order of precedence.