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Hot Stepper


Marc Hare, the founder of designer footwear label Mr. Hare, has swiſtly become an influential name in men’s fashion. Cynthia Lawrence talks to the charismatic entrepreneur about what inspires his creativity


T


he craſt of British shoe-making oſten conjures up visions of elite traditions, formulaic customs and grey-haired men who reign from a long line of


shoe-makers. But Marc Hare, the founder of his eponymous footwear label, Mr. Hare, seemingly defies all manner of convention. When we meet he is casually dressed, wearing an eye-catching pair of green leather trainers – “I only wear my own now!” -, his flowing dreadlocks are hastily tied back. With a distinct, south London accent, he is armed with a witty sense of humour, as we sit in his Mayfair store chatting, surrounded by his shoe masterpieces.


spirit. Te famous story behind the brand pays homage to all of those things. Aſter losing his job, breaking his leg and getting divorced, he decided to embark on a soul-searching trip to Spain, and whilst sat at a tapas bar, a local gent wearing woven leather shoes caught his attention. “I had been working in marketing for about 12 years and found it very unfulfilling. I was unemployed at the time and was getting rejected for jobs I didn’t even want to do,” he recalls, “I spent about a year trying to decide what I was going to do with my life. I knew I was about to start my own thing and it was going to be called Mr. Hare. I just didn’t know


HIP-HOP. TAKETHAT OLDANDMAKEIT NEW. BE FRESHTODEATH. HAVE NO FEAR OFAUTHORITY.


Despite his modest demeanour, his shoe


label has gone from strength-to-strength. Since its conception in 2008, his creations, which start from about £400 each, are of high demand in the world’s celebrated stores including Harrods and Liberty, and are selling well across Europe, America, Asia and the Middle East. His celebrity clientele include the likes of, Robert Downey Jr, Tom Hardy, Amir Khan and Tinie Tempah, who have all graced their attire with a pair of ‘Mr Hare’s’. A great accomplishment coming from


someone with no formal training in shoe design or any other design for that matter, but who simply had a passion for the craſt, innovation and an indomitable entrepreneurial


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IHAVE NEITHERHERITAGE NORTRADITIONAL CRAFTBUT I GREW UP UNDERTHESPELL OF


what “it” was going to be. So there I was looking at this old dude’s shoes thinking, ‘they could be much nicer with a few tweaks’, when I suddenly thought I should make Mr. Hare shoes. I had always been obsessed with shoes from a street culture angle.” With his extensive marketing background


and knowledge, Marc immediately began the task of building his brand as well as learning the expertise of shoe-making in Italy where all of his collections are handmade. A year later, his ‘eureka’ moment turned into a reality with his shop at Dover Street Market. “Creatively, my naive approach to only make shoes I wanted instead of looking at trends helped because I was coming at it from a completely different


Interview


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