LAHORE-Pakistan’s fashion scene is renowned for its playful, contemporary style and there’s one rising shoe brand which is perfectly encapsulating the colourful, fun approach to fashion with his modern, dapper take on men’s footwear.

I sat down with the people behind The Shoemakers Company to talk about their work and how it all got started.

Fast-forward a few years and TSM&Co’s creations have been worn by Ali Zafar, Atif Aslam, Wasim Akram, Farhan Saeed, Abdullah Sultan, Mikaal Zulfiqar, Bilal Ashraf, HSY, Bilal Abbas Khan, Amir King Khan, Mohsin Abbas Haider, Sheheryar Munawer amongst others.

As they prepare to collaborate with some of the biggest names in fashion this Bridal Couture Week 2018, we sit down with them for a fun interview.

How did you first get involved in shoemaking?

Back in 2011, me and a friend were trying to find good shoes for his wedding and we were surprised to find branded stores filled with same old narrow and pointy shaped designs with no comfort at all and believe me every store we visited had none the less same designs and shapes.

This prompted us about the gap in men’s footwear market in the country, which leads to starting our own brand catering to bespoke shoes first for friends and family and then to like-minded customers around the country.

Tell us about TSM & Co?

We wanted to build a brand whose core values lie in using timeless shoemaking techniques and combine them with latest trends and also provide us matched support for each shoe we craft.

What makes TSM & Co distinct from other shoemakers or brands available?

Our focus has always been young working customers whose main requirement has always been comfort before anything else when it comes to shoes and for that we had to reach leather tanneries in Italy which provides us with vegetable tanned leather. We have always been the first one in the country to introduce the art of patina in dress shoes, which so far had been confined to European shoemakers and high-end brands.

Any artists, designers, or art pieces that you draw influence from?

I have always been inspired by the quality of work done by English shoemakers John Lobb and Gaziano & Girling while the patina work by French powerhouse Berluti has always been an inspiration to create unique creations out of plain leather.

How long does it normally take for you to completely finish working on a shoe?

Each shoe we craft goes through up to 70 hours of workmanship.

What are your favorite shoes to make?

A classic whole cut oxford.

There are a lot of men out there with short heights issue. Do you make heeled shoes?

Yes we also make platform shoes on request with extra inserts in the insole to combat the issue a lot of men face, however lately we have been noticing that young customers are confident in the way they look, no matter how short their height is!

Your work involves both classic, wearable styles, and more avant-garde, sculptural pieces. Which of the two do you enjoy doing the most and why?

Classics like cap toe oxfords or brogues have been around for centuries and usually require minimum customizations so naturally they require less work. However creating a bespoke shoe in a hand painted patina finish is totally different story. You never know how a piece of skin would react to different dyes and creams, which makes it challenging as well as fun to ensure the shoes are created according to the customers desire.

What is your brands most popular shoe style?

Almost all the shoes we make are based on timeless styles, so I wouldn’t say that I have just one favorite. Each design has its unique style and purpose.

What are the upcoming trends in shoe industry for the year 2019?

Tinged with Nineties nostalgia, the men’s 2019 shoes will be based on timeless patterns but with a punch of vivid colors and utility details.