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Once upon time (1969 to be precise) there was a cool kid who dreamt of running away to London to be a shoemaker. So he did.
That 16-year-old with big ideas was Oliver Sweeney. After two decades learning his craft from some of the best bespoke shoemakers in the business, he decided to go it alone, founded his eponymous business, and went on to be one of the great maverick shoe designers of his generation.
The rest, as they say, is history.
From the very start, our business has had a simple philosophy: create classic timeless styles with a modern twist of something special; design beautiful shoes and have them made by the best shoemakers in the world (Italian as it happens) from the finest materials.
That’s still how we work today. But as much as we live by Oliver’s vision, we’re not ones to rest on his laurels. Our heritage is part of who we are, but it doesn’t stop us constantly evolving by combining classic shoemaking techniques with 21st century technology and innovation.
The principles for how we design and make our shoes goes right across our collection – from Oliver’s original Anatomical Last, to using a natural, chemical-free tanning process on all our leather – is as important to us as breathing.
Today Oliver Sweeney is in the hands of Tim Cooper (AKA our Cobbler-in-Chief). Tim took over in 2009 and with him at the helm we’ve evolved; we’re constantly listening to our customers who come back to us time and again and expanded our collection to include clothing, accessories and a collection for women – all made with the same attention to detail as Oliver’s very first pair of shoes.
The truth is we live and breathe shoes (doesn’t everyone?). They’re made to last a lifetime, and we’re proud that ours really do, and when they do show signs of wear and tear then we’re here to help with a new pair or rejuvenate your old favourites.
This is our story so far. Watch out for the next chapter...