Yorkshire’s London-based, Justin Deakin is one of the country’s finest cordwainer’s and unlike most of his peers, specialises solely in clothing men’s feet. Although Deakin may not have the mass appeal cache of a Christian Louboutin, Patrick Cox or Manolo Blahnik, his use of traditional craftsmanship has meant that unlike many of his contemporaries, he had a pair of his shoes in the prestigious Design Museum.

Think Work Play turned up at Justin’s new east-London shop to catch up with the charismatic cobbler and get an in-depth analysis from the man himself, on his inspirations and passion for restoring craft over mass-production. Despite only recently opening his own store, Justin is no newcomer; in 1997 he launched his own range of techno sneakers, ‘Stride’ to critical acclaim. This venture even saw Deakin crowned Best New Designer that year at the Footwear Awards, no mean feat!

Not interested in the fame, or names attached to his shoes, Justin shared his sole with us, stating that his inspirations or ‘eureka’ moments hit him at anytime, from looking at peoples battered loafers in Paris to intimate, personal moments on the toilet. The beautifully crafted shoes have a feel of distinct heritage around them, with a new fresh modern twist. His patriotic stance is reflected in the shoes he makes and admitted off-camera; he would love to have made shoes for Winston Churchill.

Justin openly admits his shoes appeal to a wide range of men, of all ages, from 30 to 60 year olds. Anyone can appreciate Justin’s shoes. A chav even popped into Justin’s shop to buy a pair to make his Christmas dinner in, normally slippers would do me, but each to their own!