Shoemaker Mr Hare has come a very long way in a short time. We caught up with him as the first Mr Hare shop opens in London.
It's the week before the Bafta's. If you're shoemaker Marc Hare - the man behind Mr Hare, which has quickly become a huge success since launching in 2009 - you're inundated with blaggers, stylists and celebrities emailing and calling in hope of getting their feet into a pair of your shoes.
"Adam Deacon from Anuvahood emailed us for shoes and I said to James (Mr Hare's only full time employee so far): 'Should we give this guy shoes?' James said: 'Don't give him anything'. I then sit down to watch the Bafta's for five minutes and the first thing I heard was: 'And the award goes to… Adam Deacon!"
Marc Hare is used to a few ups and downs. Before deciding to launch Mr Hare, Marc had a week in 2007 when he broke up with his wife, broke his leg and was made redundant from his marketing job. A bad week, by any stretch.
This led him to do freelance marketing until 2008, when he started working on his own shoe range, which officially launched in 2009. Since then, his classic but contemporary styles have become popular by word of mouth with a variety of celebs parting with their own money to get their hands on some.
"We've never had the budget to give away shoes," Marc says. Tom Hardy, who wore a pair to the premiere of the Dark Knight Rises bought the pair he owns, as does rapper of the moment, A$AP Rocky.
"I said to him 'how do you even know who we are?'" Imitating A$AP's drawl, he says: "'You know, before we got signed, we used to just sit and look at Oki-Ni and dream about that stuff'".
So, with shoes which grace the dreams of rappers and A-listers alike, it's fair to say Mr Hare's become pretty popular. Which is why they've decided to open their first shop in Mayfair.
The reason? Having had to sell their wares through external retailers up until now, they haven't had the control over how they are displayed and have to mix it with everyone else. "It's just nice to show Mr Hare the way it should be in a shop."
And Mayfair is the location because, in his own words, "I just wanna open a player shop in a player area". Fair enough.
And while we wouldn't exactly call them player shoes - because they're far more refined than that - the quality of them is hard to ignore. When Mr Hare first launched, the fact that they made their shoes in Italy instead of the UK was a sticking point. "I didn't want to be an Italian shoe company, there are loads of those", he says.
He explains that making shoes from scratch would be prohibitively expensive in the UK as most factories are owned by brands, and therefore priced to
reflect that. So to bring the costs within the realm of affordability, they were made in Italy. In future, he will simply make the shoes wherever is most appropriate.
The point of Mr Hare, after all, was always to create shoes that were "of the night".
"I wanted to make a range of shoes that you could go out and have a massive night in Soho and not be too precious about them," he says. "You go out looking smart to start with and, as the night wears on, you get a bit lash up and then you stop caring about your shoes so much."
He's even taken into consideration that even the fanciest of shoes need a rubber insert to deal with the rain or "if the club was covered in beer and crap". A luxury shoemaker who factors in whether club floors are covered in beer? Clearly a man who deserves a place in your wardrobe.
Mr Hare store, 8 Stafford Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 4RU
Three styles we like from the Mr Hare A\W Collection. Visit mrhare.co.uk