Every other Sunday, Leonard’s Shoe Repairs and Dry Cleaners, 22 Chapel Market, Islington, undergoes a transformation. A banner appears over the shop fascia board saying TOM KILGALLON LONDON. Inside, the counter has disappeared, and the shop has turned into a high end Pop Up shoe shop.
Tom Kilgallon’s fortnightly Sunday pop-up shop
To the left, there’s a display of ZEHA BERLIN hand-made sports-inspired casual shoes, based on the traditional football shoe, ranging from £200-£225. Not only are they beautiful to behold, they are designed for both men and women, and are incredibly comfortable.
Zeha Berlin’s sports-inspired casual shoes
There are subtle differences between the shoes; Club are low cut round the heel; Libero and Liga are padded round the heels and the designs of the lace guard differ; and the Derby boot has a higher heel and is more supportive.
Zeha Berlin shoes. Derby boot in front
While I was there, I met the elegant Florence, a Three-D designer, who came in to see what was new in the Pop-Up shop. She walked out wearing a blue, white and tan pair of the Zeha Berlin shoes which looked terrific. ‘They will go with everything,’ she said happily.
The elegant Florence in her new Zeha Berlin shoes.
And she’s right. Apart from with a ball dress, I couldn’t think of an occasion where the shoes wouldn’t look just great.
Aren’t they stunning?
Outside, one of the stallholders was sitting in the spring sunshine. He, too, was wearing a pair of Zeha Berlin shoes. He allowed me to photograph his feet. I asked him for his comments. ‘Beautiful,’ he said, stretching out a foot towards me. ‘Feel! Soft as mutton. I’d recommend them to anyone.’ His shoes are obviously well-loved.
Stallholder sporting his much-loved Zeha Berlin shoes
Tom Kilgallon’s own hand-made shoes are on the right. They are specially designed in limited editions of a dozen. Tom was apprenticed to a Polish cordwainer and then set up his own shop Sole Healers in Chelsea. Today, he divides his time between designing and making his TOM KILGALLON shoes in his studio, and expertly repairing shoes next to the dry cleaners in Leonard’s shop in Chapel Market.
Tom Kilgallon next to a rack of his men’s designer shoes
He’s also found time to do a degree at Birkbeck College in History: Classical to Early Medieval. When I first met him, we used to have conversations about the Vikings in Constantinople and the Varangian Guard in the early 11th century, while he was re-heeling my shoes.
Tom Kilgallon’s men’s limited edition designer shoes
Here are a selection of his shoes; all in a limited edition of twelve.
Grey-black high heel co-respondent wing tip: £189
Ladies’ co-respondent tasselled loafer: £189
Ladies’ suede lace-up: £195
Ladies’ multi-colour wing tip shoe: £195
Florence, who owns a number of TOM KILGALLON shoes, assured me that they, too, are extremely comfortable. Tom told me that a number of customers have come in with shoes to be repaired and walked out wearing a new pair of his shoes.
I can’t resist trying on a pair of the Zeha Berlin shoes myself. I’m in heaven!
The next pop-up shop day is Sunday, May 7th, 9am-2pm.
Please share this page...