It began 10 years ago as a labour of love, as a quest of sorts to find the perfect pair of boots. Since he first saw the legendary Anello & Davides worn by the Beatles, David Preston had harboured a growing obsession with the classic rock ‘n’ roll Chelsea boot.

He spotted them in picture books, in photos of his favourite bands, when he looked at pictures of the Paris riots of 1968 it wasn’t so much the chaos and the uproar that caught his eye as the footwear. Each year, he would return to his native Melbourne and visit his favourite bespoke shoemaker, an elderly Italian man named Rocco who specialised in making rock ‘n’ roll shoes in everything from zebra print to patent leather. And he would wonder, then, why there was no one in London doing the same.

He craved simplicity, elegance, and impeccable detail. He wanted beautiful skins and all-leather soles. He wanted great lasts, perfect Cuban heels, crafted by hand, traditionally and ethically. And he wanted them to be widely available, not just to exist in the rarefied world of bespoke footwear.

Now, with an ardent following, David Preston is about more than just one boot. It is perfect Cuban heels and soft dark green calf leather linings, it is delicious zips, consummate seaming. It is shades of forest green and deep blue suede, blood red, rich tan and Bordeaux leather.

Accordingly, David Preston has established a devoted celebrity clientele from the worlds of music, film, sport and fashion, among them Kate Moss, Bobby Gillespie, Bradley Wiggins, Iggy and the Stooges, Pete Doherty, Martin Freeman, David Gandy, Kasabian, Sam Robertson, Franz Ferdinand, Steve Cradock, Temples and Graham Coxon. Plus, of course, the hundreds of delighted customers who contact David from all over the world, sending letters, emails, pictures, all testifying that, finally, they too have found the perfect boot.

by Laura Barton

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