The rock and roll cobbler talks shop and his women at his first London flagship in 30 years
The Terry de Havilland tribe are enigmatic, creative mavericks, with a love of life and a work-hard, play-hard ethic. My tribe has no leader, they are free spirits with determination to do things their own way and with their own wonderful individual style. They have marked each decade with their unique free-thinking fashion. I make shoes that look impossible, possible! Shoes that love to go out and party – my party tribe! My dancing disco divas include everyone from the original party girls like Marianne Faithfull and Cher to today's divine creatures like Kate Moss, Alison Mosshart and Cara Delevingne.
I've lived through beatniks, teddy boys, gangsters, mods, rockers, hippies, glam rockers, punks, goths, ravers, cybergoths, cyberpunks – it's almost impossible to choose a favourite. If you're a designer living in London it's impossible not to be influenced by our tribes. Style begins at street level and there are many levels to that street! Fashion follows style.
The 70s was a crazy time, the King's Road was buzzing with all manner of amazing people, a melting pot of music and fashion, we were individuals doing our own thing, following our own instincts and pushing the boundaries. I remember the day and elegant woman came in [to De Havilland's shop Cobblers To The World] to order a pair of black leather thigh boots lined in red silk for her sister. It wasn't until she left the shop that we realised she was Princess Lee Radziwill and the sister in question was Jackie O. Another time an individual came in confessing that he was so angry at the attitude of his bank that he'd just injected LSD into the milk bottles on the their doorstep. Sure enough within the space of an hour the bank had to shut its doors for the day. Then there was the time the police turned up to raid Westwood/McLaren's SEX under the indecency act for selling their infamous 'naked cowboy' t-shirts. I was having breakfast in the café opposite – it was like watching The Keystone Cops. The shop was closed so they had to keep coming back. I think it took three attempts before the staff had turned up.
Cobblers to Carnaby St! [de Havilland's London pop-up shop, open until July] is a mecca of fabulous footwear, with my signature lightning bolt flashing in fluorescent orange across the front. Inside is a Factory-inspired silver box with a wall of fame featuring everyone from Betty Davis, Rudolph Nuryev and Led Zeppellin wearing my shoes over the years. I'm going to be based there so I'll be able to talk directly to the customers and find out what they'd like from me. Plus I'll be producing some limited-edition designs exclusively for the shop including my UV reactive Jack The Dripper mules which I'll be making right here in London!
Cobblers To Carnaby Street! 8 Ganton Street, London, W1F 7QP