Interview: Theo Hassett
Theo: “I stopped by
Oliver Moore’s in New York late last year and they had a dusty shelf down the
back with shoes that may have been gifted back to the makers once the client
died, or perhaps when they had no use for them. They’d all been well worn and
the making was just incredible…I spent hours in there photographing the
details. I walked down Madison Ave past Berluti…Lobb…to me, nothing came
There is a growing discernment of quality and craftsmanship in Melbourne. It is a discernment that extends its tendrils into many things, digestible or inanimate. Theo Hassett is a bespoke shoemaker. It is his job, in attempting to craft the highest quality shoes possible, to be as discerning as he can be. There are no shortcuts in the process and no compromises that will not go unnoticed in a pair of bespoke shoes. For their owners, they are the things they are stepping into and out of, wearing them for hours, days, weeks, years and potentially decades. Van Gogh painted them worn and battered after years of wear with due appreciation. They are something to digest.
I walk the set of stairs up to the first level of the Captains of Industry building to visit Theo. It’s an unassuming entrance. The café is operating in the bustle of the day. His workshop is through a crevice of a door flanked by a white ladder displaying belts, wallets and finished shoes. For over three years of work in this place, Theo has proven that if you can make good work out of a demand that is only increasing, there is an opportunity to exist and thrive.