The HareFourSwans Have Landed

Mr Hare puts his best foot forward with a debut collection providing footwear for the ballrooms of decadence.

Text by Steve Salter

Mr. Hare is the ultimate shoeist and his passion for shoes, as documented on his blog, is infectious. He recently took his footwear obsession a step further than most and designed his own range of shoes. His AW09 collection titled 'Purest Form' provides iconic dress shoes for any gentleman’s wardrobe. Here, the designer talks to Steve Salter about his love affair with shoes, Bruce Lee and Sarah Palin and leaves us with a sneak preview of his SS10 offering.

You are undeniably a shoeist. Was there a particular pair you saw/owned which kicked off your love affair? How did this passion develop in to your own label?
Mr. Hare: When you are on drugs and you see the world in a slightly altered state, I realized this about changing shoes at a young age. Play shoes, school shoes, and best shoes. There is a structure you can live by. It’s no crazier a basis for a belief system than many others. So therefore when I present myself my shoes need to be hooked up! That’s why I started Mr. Hare.

What are your thoughts on the current state of the shoe industry? What excites and infuriates you?
Mr. Hare: The shoe industry is all-good with me. I am a very niche player, doing what I do to the best of my ability. There is a lot of room for someone like me. I only buy shoes that talk to me when I see them. That doesn’t happen for me in most shoe stores I walk into. There are incredible shoes out there though. They are generally in short supply and expensive but they do exist. That at least implies there are other shoeists out there, living the dream, walking the walk and fighting the fight.

Talk us through your debut collection. Were there any comedy or hair pulling out moments?
Mr. Hare: I do all that on my website. Go there! I will say this; my first collection is about a guy, entering his Clooney years, broken by love, who asked himself, if you could have any shoes in the world to walk alone in, what would they be? By far the funniest thing that has happened in the last year was Sarah Palin.

Since receiving the first fully realised designs back in December 08, how have the last six months been?
Mr. Hare: I am happy when I wake up now. So I have pretty much hit the jackpot already. My blog traffic is in the thousands. When people ask me what I do, I can say, “I make Shoes.” My wife met someone else. Apart from that it’s all “bigger and better plans son”. The future is a story I am penning.

Your turned to your literary heroes as inspiration for AW09, what inspired your SS10 line? How have you taken the romance of AW in to the warmer months?
Mr. Hare: Ahhhh! The ‘Hot Steppers’ Collection, a study into the possibilities of male footwear under hot conditions. Or, the illest shoes you will ever pull out of a keepall. Mr. Hare has vacated the ballrooms of decadence in favour of the steaming dancehalls of Kingston, Havana and Mombassa. Different day, Different shoes. I don’t make shoes everyone will like. Hot Steppers is some real connoisseur type shit. I have used Vegetable tanned and natural leathers and I have given those materials some Mr. Hare confidence mixed with youthful rebellion type attitude. The shoe man in me is horny just thinking about them.

If you could get anyone to wear your designs who would it be?
Mr. Hare: If I could get anyone to wear my designs that would be enough.

How did you start your shoe blog? How have your loyal readers reacted to your line?
Mr. Hare: I just signed up on blogger it was free and really easy…seriously, so I’m thinking about being a shoe guy, what evidence do I have? I am probably not going to express my intricate inner thoughts with an expensive advertising campaign. Bruce Lee said “when you pour water into a cup it becomes the cup. When you pour water into a kettle it becomes the kettle. Be formless. Be water my friend”. I think that sums it up better than I could. My blog has turned into something else now. I lay some personal shit down on it now. That blog is a fire wire right into my head these days. The Mr. Hare society is a rich, colourful, infinitely interesting, informed and intelligent group of people. I hope they like what I do.

Aside from your own, what shoes are you currently lusting after?

Mr. Hare: So many. Margiela, Givenchy, JM Weston, Sruli Recht, Visvims. I like the current shoe generation. It is a good time for men’s shoes. Rick Owens just dropped that man wedge that looks soooooo fucking good. It opens a huge door of possibilities in men’s shoes. I look at them and electricity is pulsing through my veins. The important thing is not the brand but the individual responsible for bringing those shoes to life. If that person isn’t interested and interesting then neither will the shoes be, no matter what is says on the box.

Who are your favourite menswear designers? If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be?
Mr. Hare: Let’s see if this works. I would like to make some shapes with Stefano Pilati at YSL or wherever he works in the future. I would like to build shoes with Hiroki Nakamura at Visvim. I would like to conceptualise with Jay Jopling from the White Cube Gallery. I would like to build shoe environments with Shigeru Ban, the Japanese architect. I would like to flip it and bounce it with the rapper MFDoom aka Viktor Vaughn aka King Geedorah aka Madvillain aka Danger Doom. I would like to share my opinions with Ban Ki Moon at the UN and President Obama.

Where do you see Mr. Hare in SS20?
Mr. Hare: Surfing my ass off in front of my own beach house somewhere near the equator. Barefoot.

Lastly, where can we buy your collection?
Mr. Hare: Beams in Tokyo. SPR+ in Amsterdam. Dover Street Market in London and Oki-Ni wherever you are.
© by DazedDigital

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