My London: Marc Hare, Shoe Designer

Marc Hare designs rather nice shoes for those who desire them the most. He founded Mr. Hare, the brand, in 2008 after the closure of his surf shop, Low Pressure.

Born in south London, the 43-year-old dreadlocked designer talks to The London Word about time spent at Stockwell Skate Park, the walk from his Mayfair store to his office in Shoreditch and the opening of London’s ‘only proper surf shop’ in 1992.

I’m currently sitting in my house, about to design some sneakers. That moment of inspiration can come from anywhere – although a good walk in a nice park usually does the trick.

My current favourite part of London is the walk from Mayfair to Soho, and out the other side  to Bloomsbury. I often do this walk when I leave my store in Stafford Street, heading towards my office in Shoreditch. In the space of a mile, you touch upon just about every tangent London has to offer. From the highest to the lowest, arcades to alleyways, concierges to conmen and so many famous streets and landmarks – it makes your head spin!

My most vivd London memory was Queens of The Stone Age and The White Stripes playing in Hyde Park in the summer of 2007. It’s just about the best time I ever had with my clothes on.

I enjoy summer in London the most out of all of the seasons. I spend most of winter dreaming about being somewhere warmer; I wish we had a beach like Barcelona or Lisboa. Saying that, London does come alive at night in the winter.

My perfect London day out would start with eggs royal at the Wolsley, followed by a walk around Richmond Park. I’d go for lunch at the River Cafe in Hammersmith, then see a design show at the V&A or the Barbican. A quick visit to Rough Trade West for some new tunes, before some Ramen et Bone Daddies at Peter Street and cocktails at the Groucho Club would finish off a perfect Saturday. Sunday would include the farmers’ market at Queens Park, gardening, a good roast and Antiques Roadshow. 

Sleeping is my new favourite nightclub. I have to be in bed by midnight.

I miss my bed the most when I’m not in London.

Not until you have brandished your winding skills in public amid a sea of chicken bones by a gully sound system in W11, can you say you have truly reaped the nectar of this fine metropolis. For this reason, I’d say Notting Hill Carnival is something everyone has to try at least once.

Low Pressure was London’s only proper surf shop from 1992 to 2005 in Kensington Park Road, W11. I say ‘only’ proper surf shop as there was a surf shop in Wandsworth in the ’70s, however Low Pressure was London’s best and coolest Surf and Snowboard shop.

I’m constantly bumping into young, successful business people who say “You won’t remember me, but I came into Low Pressure when I was eight and it changed my life”. Imagine being introduced to the big bad world of surfing in the middle of London as a kid?

I have spent large chunks of my life at Stockwell Skate Park. It’s probably best I stay away now though, whilst my limbs are still largely intact.

Londoners make the city unique. Wherever they have come from. You meet the entire world in London.

My favourite Londoner has to be Phil Dirtbox. Hands down.

As for my biggest inspiration, I’d say Arsene Wenger.

I’ve always wanted to, but have never swam in the Serpentine. I love swimming and wish there were more attractive, less algae and duck poo-filled places to swim in London.

London’s best kept secret is Mr. Hare, of course. We make incredible shoes for men who care.

The best advice I’ve ever been given? Mind The Gap!’

Marc Hare’s flagship store can be found at:

Mr. Hare
8 Stafford Street

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