The Shoemaker Creating Beauty From Junk
Fascinated by Lady Gaga’s love for beautiful but unwearable shoes, Daniel Charkow, a London-based, Canadian-born shoemaker, created his first pair aged 12. Ten years on, branded as @Shoe_Man_Dan, he is on a mission to bring craftsmanship and sustainability to the forefront of footwear
Daniel Charkow loves rummaging through London’s textile factories for dead-stock leather or any other material he can get his hands on. “One of the factories does the heels and soles for brands such as Church’s and John Lobb, and another supplies the leather for the Royal Air Force, so I just go in and take their scraps. Obviously,” he continues, “if you are cutting from a big sheet there are going to be leftovers, so my job is to utilise them.”
This drive to create beauty from scraps leads Charkow down unusual paths, hence he will take a chair found on the side of a road and turn it into an amazing pair of shoes. “The body is made from the chair cover, the heel is made from the leg and the cushioning is made from the foam found inside the chair,” he explains.
Having collaborated with multiple graduate designers from the likes of Central Saint Martins, Charkow is now launching his own brand this summer. His hope is to breathe his innovative energy into changing how we view our shoes, one step at a time.
Pia Brynteson is Editorial Assistant at Service95