This season is the debut collection of Sebastian Tarek’s beautiful, bespoke and handmade Men’s shoes. Sebastian is an Australian-born shoemaker based in East London who has worked for London’s finest shoemakers since 2003 – where he has spent years refining his skills of fit, and creating work of the highest standards to satisfy the clientele of Saville Row and beyond. Sebastian still works for two of the last remaining members of the West End Master Boot Makers society, who have been making shoes for the Royal Court since the 19th Century. This deep understanding of the heritage of classic English footwear, and his own family background as a 18th generation shoe maker resulted in a collection with a rare attention to detail and material, and visible application to manual craft. These are objects to be held in the hands.
Sebastian Tarek is excited by the challenge of fusing his traditional skills as a maker of a timeless artisanal product with a more contemporary and relevant aesthetic. Don’t look for a pair of brogues in this collection! This is a new exploration within the bespoke market – and an idea Sebastian has developed with his private clients who are made up of local photographers, artists and musicians. This is where the West End and East End meet -It is a marriage of personalised service, comfort and luxury with a more relaxed and informal feeling.
All techniques used however are strictly traditional. Clients will be individually measured and fitted for their own personal set of wooden lasts. The range is based loosely on classic styles, with specific detailing updated and refined. Silhouettes are pushed into stronger, more architectural forms and have a modern look. Anachronistic extras are lost and a purity of form, and the importance of provenance is rediscovered. Texture is emphasised through contrasting materials and ancient finishing techniques. Sebastian uses two of the oldest pittards still working, and the soles and heels of the shoes are all hand made from leathers produced by the last remaining Oak bark tanner left in Britain. Hand stitching details, and laces are all exclusively made from Irish linen thread. The distinctive finish of the shoes is a result of a specific burnishing technique traditionally only used for cavalry boot legs. Elements such as the facings of styles such as Adelaide’s, Derby’s, and Saddle shoes are applied in new surprising contexts.