My father was a shoemaker, but I didn’t go straight into shoes. I initially worked in structural engineering, but the recession in the mid-80s bit the construction industry quite deep. My father suggested I get into his trade and I subsequently went to cordwainers in Hackney on a handmade shoemaking course. I went on to get an apprenticeship with John Lobb and also worked at my father’s shop a little bit. I soon found work as a freelance shoemaker, making handmade bespoke shoes for the London houses.
It was during this period I met my now business partner Tony (Gaziano) whilst he was working at Cleverley’s. We soon decided to launch our own company, figuring with my shoemaking skills and his design skills we could make something of a brand. Opening Gaziano & Girling ten years ago, in 2006.