Fashion

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Cobbler

This month we’re in the mood to celebrate the old and new. 

And by old we mean in the priceless, trend-defying sense, captured perfectly by none other than Mr Terry de Havilland. 

Cited as the Rock ‘n’ Roll Cobbler of the 1970s, de Havilland has produced shoes for every subculture. 

Most famed for his key part in the ‘Swinging London’ fashion scene, with clients including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and the Jagger clan, Cher, Marianne Faithfull, Led Zeppelin, Elton John and David Bowie back in the day, the 72yr old’s current client list boasts Kate Moss, Ana Matronic, Noel Fielding, Alison Goldfrapp, Kelly Osborne, Sienna Miller, Pixie Geldof and Cara Delevigne. 

Impressive though the list may be, we’d expect nothing less from a bloke who started out designing shoes from the tender age of 5 in the factory of his family cobbler business (sound the health and safety sirens!) 

It wasn’t until the 1960’s after rifling through his father’s attic, he discovered a pair of three-tiered wedges that were familiar to him from his childhood. He took the design and began to make up new pairs in psychedelic snakeskin colours, where alas, his most iconic design, the Margeaux, was born.

Now, the Margeaux is over 40 years old. The five inch wedges, each emblazoned with brand-defining, outrageously flamboyant designs, deem the de Havilland classics unmistakable works of art.  

In 2006, de Havilland was nominated as Accessory Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards, and in 2010 was awarded a Drapers Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to footwear over the last fifty years. 

“When Geri Halliwell met Nelson Mandela, she was wearing our red platforms” 

On Christmas Eve 2001, he had a heart attack. “It was a wakeup call, there were more of my shoes in museums than on people’s feet” 

Fed up with his designs being copied, the health scare spurred him on to open his own flagship store, which will no doubt turn into a little museum in itself.  

His website informs us “with production of his menswear line in design stages, Terry shows no sign of slowing down and the brand Terry de Havilland continues to go from strength to strength.”

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Cobbler