Catch Ups: Anthony & Neville from 124 Shoes
Next in The Galeries Catch Up series is the two man team behind the handmade shoe boutique 124 Shoes!
Anthony and Neville are the co-founders of 124 Shoes and talked to us about the brand, the story behind it all, what cool projects they have been working on plus some tips & tricks on how to style leather shoes.
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TG: What cool projects have you been working on since the Sydney store re-opened? Can you share any exciting news?
A & N: Through these tough times the artisan world continues to inspire and it has inspired us to do something completely out of the norm.
124 have been working on a capsule collection inspired by a few of our artisan brands Mattia Capazzani Lemargo and LeRuemarcel. All pieces are limited to 5 pairs and are available only to order, creating individuality and uniqueness for all shoe lovers.
The shoe world continues to inspire and so will 124.
TG: 124 has a rich history and spans many generations. Can you tell us about the origin story of the brand and how the name “124 Shoes came about?
A & N: A journey that has expanded 10 years starting in our first boutique in Russell Place in Melbourne to our third boutique in The Galeries Sydney. The values instilled have been the same from day one to today. A unique artisanal experience for shoe lovers, with a curated collection of meticulously handcrafted footwear, leather goods, accessories, fragrances and clothes for men and women.
Co founders Anthony Barbieri and Neville Colaianni saw a gap in the market and this where the name 124 came about.
1 Fast fashion movements
2 Volume mass marketers
4 High-end designer labels
The 3 is deliberately left out, the missing link. Bringing beautifully handcrafted product made in Italy to Australia.
TG: How would you describe the brand ethos of 124, and how does that bespoke approach influence not just your shoes but also all your designs, including the spaces of your stores?
A & N: The bold spaces of the (store) filled with the cent of real leather, the fusion of artwork, the raw steel and vintage furniture, providing a unique experience. A store for all artisan enthusiasts.
The synergy between raw materials and craftsmanship embodies the 124 philosophy. The story is set before you, the minute you walk into our gallery our knowledgeable staff are there to walk you through the experience.
TG: Originally founded in Melbourne, you branched out and opened up a store in Sydney. What was the reason for this – was there a gap in the market?
A & N: When the co founders established 124, combined they shared 40 years of footwear experience and believed there was a distinct gap to showcase something that had never been seen before. A unique offer of Italian artisan handmade shoes only in limited quantities.
We would often have customers travel from Sydney to Melbourne to visit our boutiques and often asked, “When are you opening a store in Sydney? “. This was the moment we knew it was time to open a shop in Sydney.
Opening the 124 boutiques has fulfilled that on going question that people have “ where do I get good quality shoes? “
The answer is simple.
124 shoes… handmade not for the ordinary.
TG: Speaking of expansion, you recently launched a collection of accessories. What inspired this and how does ‘Projects By 124’ work in tandem with 124 Shoes?
A & N: Italy is renowned for its love of art culture and fashion, 124 was founded on bringing the finest handmade footwear from Italy. During the last ten years 124 has established a brand, with an offer unparalleled in Australia and believed that the timing was right to introduce a complete look for our customers. Artisanal apparel brands from Italy were not represented in Australia and Projects by 124 was the answer.
Projects is an expansion of 124, which insinuates the same values of all boutiques with clothes and exclusive designs made strictly for projects.
Projects provides us with a different avenue and now not only can you get quality shoes, you can get quality clothing from brands who have the same values of uniqueness and craftsmanship.
TG: You recently dropped your 2020 winter collection. What are some of your favorite pieces and why?
A & N: Winter 2020 collection is an eclectic collection showcasing the finest variety from our markers to date. A variety of derby’s, oxfords, ankle boots and sneakers for both men and women. Our made to order program provides a different element and puts the creativity in the customers hands with different colours, constructions and styles to choose from.
This seasons pieces are elegant and timeless which signify the slow fashion movement.
The pick from the men’s collection is the Shoto 51075 ankle boot in brown. An essential for every urban males winter wardrobe with a two-tone finish sitting on a double rapid blake construction. Limited with only 5 pairs commissioned.
The Women’s collection is a mixture between bold colours and highlight pieces. My pick from the winter 2020 collection is the Lemargo DL03A dark brown ankle boot. Dip dyed and a standout piece for the urban female.
TG: What are the key things you’ve learnt about being artisan craftsmen in the fashion world, especially in today’s era of ‘fast fashion’?
A & N: Quality over quantity, old world over new world, slow fashion over fast fashion.
The fundamental values of traditional craftsmanship and quality we will remain true to. These same values and passions we share with our brands.
Believe in your philosophy, create excitement around you, be individualistic and different. All the secrets to being an artisan craftsman in today’s world.
It’s all in the name - 124 shoes…not for the ordinary
TG: What are your Do's and Dont's of styling leather shoes?
A & N:
1. Maintain your shoes by polishing them frequently with natural creams.
Use shoe trees to maintain the shape of the shoes and getting a Topy sole on your shoes will extend the life span of your shoes.
Visit one of our boutiques where our friendly staff will run you through the process.
2. Oxford and boots are essential for everyone’s wardrobe - they go with almost everything!
3. Spend money on shoes – shoes are the foundation of every outfit.
1. Don’t use the pull tabs when putting on boots, always use a shoehorn.
2. Timeless items are key, don’t give into seasonal trends.
3. Don’t wear the same pair of shoes every day. To get the most out of your footwear you need to let them breathe and allow the moisture to dry. Rotation is key.
Visit 124 Shoes, located on the Ground Floor.
Open daily from 11am - 5pm.
The Galeries, together.