Carréducker are award-winning bespoke handsewn shoemakers with premises in Shoreditch, east London.
The company grew from the serendipitous meeting of two people passionate about becoming handsewn shoemakers, 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 to found Carréducker.
Keen to attract new customers, they set about organising their own Bespoke Club events to showcase their work, inviting like-minded businesses to co-host with them including Tom Davies eyewear, TomTom Cigars and Gentlemen’s Tonic.
CHAMPIONING THE HANDSEWN CRAFT
Creating events and demonstrating the shoemaking craft was just the start. Over the years, the pair have showcased hand sewn shoemaking at numerous events – during the Olympics; alongside other QEST scholars at St. James’ and Hampton Court Palaces; at the Crafts Council’s Origin show and Added Value exhibition; at Vicheron Constantin’s Crafted: Makers of Excellence and London Craft Week – culminating in an invitation to become part of the permanent exhibition at the Design Museum London.
CARREDUCKER LONDON – ARTISAN-MADE, BRITISH MANUFACTURED
As shoemakers, their enthusiasm for British-made extends beyond bespoke. They work with a number of British, artisanal footwear manufacturers to create limited edition, ready to wear shoes and boots. The first, the signature Carréducker Half-Cut shoe, was developed with R.E.Tricker in Northampton and sold through Susannah Hall Tailors in Clerkenwell. Now, after a series of successful Kickstarter campaigns. Carréducker’s must-have shoe and boot styles include Winkers slip-ons, Barkan desert boots made in Suffolk and Tor boots made in Derbyshire. These gender-neutral styles are available in UK sizes 3 – 13 and sold online.
BESPOKE SHOE SERVICE
Through the UK’s luxury industry body, Walpole, Carréducker were introduced to Mark Henderson, then Chairman of Gieves & Hawkes. Gieves’ flagship at No.1 Savile Row was being transformed into a gentlemen’s club and Carréducker had the great fortune to be invited to create a workshop on the shop floor; a truly unique opportunity to showcase the craft to potential customers. Despite many changes at No.1 and new owners, Carréducker continues to deliver the bespoke shoe service there.
Social media, a weekly blog and e-commerce website has opened up handsewn shoe making to a global audience and many customers travelling through London on business use the opportunity to commission British bespoke. (The good thing about bespoke shoes is that once the fit is right on the first pair, subsequent pairs can be ordered over the telephone or by email). Carreducker opened its own Bespoke Shoe Showroom and Shoe & Leather School in Shoreditch in 2019 and continues to deliver the bespoke shoe service at Gieves & Hawkes, Savile Row and James Purdey & Son, South Audley Street.
PASSING ON THEIR SKILLS
As well as creating beautiful bespoke shoes, Carréducker has also established itself at the forefront of handsewn shoe making training, teaching hundreds of students from around the world for nearly 20 years. Responding to a growing interest from people keen to make with their hands, their stand-alone school in Shoreditch, London offers students a space to learn part or all of the handsewn shoe making process as well as the skills and techniques of specialist bespoke footwear pattern making; to top up their skills with masterclasses in specific techniques like Norwegian welting; or to learn saddle stitch techniques. Meanwhile shoemakers worldwide can find all the tools and materials they need for shoe making on Carréducker’s online shop.
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Forge & Carve by Canopy Press