Croydon shoemaker Marc Hare attracts a host of famous admirers
Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Amir Khan and musician Jack White all have one thing in common - they all own a pair of a Croydon man's shoes.
The Mr Hare brand, created by Marc Hare, who was born and raised in South Norwood and Waddon, in Croydon, can also add musician Tinie Tempah, actor Tom Hardy and footballer Ian Wright to his list of celebrity customers.
Mr Hare, 42, opened his first shop in Stafford Street, Mayfair, a fortnight ago following on from the success of his shoe sales in stores such as Harrods and Selfridges.
A self confessed shoe fanatic, Mr Hare spent time working at various marketing companies before deciding to create his shoe company in 2008, with the dream becoming a reality only a year later in 2009.
Mr Hare, who attended Parish Church C of E School and Haling Manor School, both in Croydon, said his love of shoes was installed in him from a young age.
He said: "My mum always insisted on buying shoes at Ravels in the Whitgift centre, so I was already aware about Italian real leather quality at an early age, right there in Croydon.
"I used to go to Hewitts, the school outfitters store, down near Surrey Street Market where I would go and try on Crombie coats and Crystal Palace football kits I could never afford.
"Most of my clothes came from the market and Allders."
Mr Hare, who is also a keen surfer and footballer, insisted that his passion for shoes is the same as any other guy.
He said: “I have the same passion for shoes as many other guys. When I was young there were always shoes to go with a certain youth culture.
“I do remember a girl I really fancied at college who introduced me to Gucci Loafers. I remember marching down to Bond Street to buy them after saving up for a long time.
“I bought them and everyone loved them, including girls. I suppose that was where my obsession came from.”
For more information on Mr. Hare, go to www.mrhare.co.uk .