David Preston Shoes are Cuban heeled boots inspired by the timeless and classic Chelsea boot. Handmade in a family run factory using the finest leather and suede available, you won’t find anything but the real deal here. From Kasabian's Serge to Bobby G from Primal Scream these wheels are essential for any man with style. We caught up with the man himself to get to know a little more...
US: How did you get into making boots?
DP: I was inspired to start making boots by a shoe maker in Melbourne Australia called Rocco. He’s still there. He is an old guy that hand makes rock and roll boots, creepers, any rock shoe in the wildest finishes. He will have one half zebra one part red patent leather etc. I bought shoes growing up there, so Ive always been well equipped with suede Chelsea boots thanks to him.
I've lived in London 12 years now, when I was there on holiday a few years ago I went there and was struck by what a shame it was that in a giant city like London it’s very easy to get cheap and cheerful Chelsea boots, but I didn’t think anyone was making them in a way that was like Rocco, handmade, full leather heels, nice coloured suedes etc. So I thought Id have a go at it.
US: Talk us through the process...
DP:Its taken a couple of years to get it all rolling to this point. For a start I am not from a fashion background so I had to start very much from nothing. OK I need a cast made, where do you get one? How do you design it? Things like that. Then where do you find a factory that will make the boots to fully satisfy the way I wanted them. I went to three in the end before I was happy. So the process is about getting all the drawings right and choosing what fabrics to do them in. I’m currently working on a few new styles so it will be good to offer new boots and a few quite different things.
US: What inspires your work?
DP:Firstly its about the customer. The fact that people out there are really enjoying the boots I’ve created inspires me to keep on going and building my business, create new styles and try and make every style the best I can and create something from passion. If it doesn’t work for me or I’m a bit indifferent to it I’d never run with it. Everything has to be just right. Perhaps that is why its working, people can appreciate that.
Secondly I am inspired by my love of quality shoes and shoe styles from previous eras. Looking through old picture books and seeing great shoes is something I’ve always done. I think it was subconscious previously, but now I am totally tuned into it for inspiration. I had a book about the sixties and there were pictures of the Paris riots from 1968, amidst the carnage in the foreground was an amazing loafer on a car roof. To think that my eye was drawn to a shoe in a photo is quite amusing to me.
US: What are some of you favourite bands past to present?
DP: I like most of the big bands from the classic rock era – Free, Creedence, The Beatles, Stones, Big Star, Sabbath, Byrds, Stooges, Im a huge music fan! Im a bit of a mellow country rock fan too – Townes Van Zandt, Gram, Burritos, guys like Gene Clark, Tim Hardin, John Phillips. But then you think of the Stax bands or people like Aretha, Its not easy to be concise.
I like a few modern bands but they aren’t super modern. The Redwalls, The Stands, Shazam, Cotton Mather. I do like the Black Keys too. Im into collecting vintage vinyl and looking for new ‘old’ discoveries – I’m not really one to read contemporary music press. Im sure I miss a lot of great stuff though.
US: Tell us about some of your favourite clothing brands you admire?
DP: This is a hard one as Im not particularly brand conscious, I never have been. I think the Northampton shoe companies like Loake and John Lobb are beautiful pieces of work. Anello and Davide for creating the original Beatle boots should get a nod here, apart from that I just like whatever fits well and feels good.
For more info and details on where stocks these see his website: www.davidprestonshoes.com