Creating bespoke pieces for individual clients is an ethos Sue Engels has carried with her throughout her journey that began in the 1980s when she first left South Africa to travel the world, ending up in London in 1990.
She studied shoe design at Cordwainer’s College and gained work experience with a couple of bespoke establishments in London. She then ran a boutique shoe and leather goods business in Camden Lock, London and also in Africa and in Wellington NZ. With international and local clients on her books Sue, now a resident of Waiheke Island, has her shoemaking studio located on Mako Street, Oneroa, just five minutes from the ferry wharf. Here she conducts individual consultations by appointment, and thanks to technology can also fulfil some online orders via email and skype.
Her shoes may be described as funky retro, with a contemporary twist, and concentrating on the extra details of individually crafted pieces. Feet are measured and lasts adjusted and built to fit the client’s size requirements. Individual patterns are then created just for you. Soft tanned leathers are cut and hand moulded to the ‘last’ shape. The supple calf leathers are enhanced with contrasting inlays and bindings, brogue patterns, buckles, buttons. Soled with good leather and rubber components, allowing for a long lasting and repairable product.
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