Flicking through the latest edition of the Cutting Edge magazine, I noticed the JR Competition to win Shoe Repairer of the Year. In the article they discussed the previous winner, what they're up to blah blahh blahh, all the usual interview stuff... except not quite.
One small picture of the last years winner's recent work captured me - as soon as I spotted this small picture, I had to know more. I read the article and discovered the winners name was Al King, and he is young but a very accomplished shoe repairer.
I was particularly interested in the customised sole art he hand crafts onto the shoes. Not only is it a completely beautiful piece of art but each design is unique, meaning you'll not see the same shoe mass-produced on all the fashion-ites in London.
I had to contact him - I had to see more pictures! I contacted a SOMSR member who contacted a Cutting Edge member who contacted a friend of a friends dogs uncles child’s owner and finally found Al's Number. What a lovely guy! He was delighted when I spoke about my interest in his shoes and was up for sending me some more pictures and information. I'll definitely be writing about his work in the next edition of Services Today.
Me, being a huge fan of art just had to submit something until then. It’s such a unique service to offer customers, something that is so traditional yet a complete fresh look on shoe repair and fashion. The Menders are repairers that are very far from me but I've already had my close family tell me they'd love to send shoes to them to get them repaired and have Al's art cut into them.
What’s just as exciting is the idea of walking in snow, sand or rain to leave your artistic print on the soft ground.
Great work Al, you've really made an old trade fashionable to the younger generations.