In response to the growing demand for quality footwear that bucks the mass-manufacturing trend, Jess Cameron-Wootten has announced that his Prahran-based workshop will extend the opening hours of its retail space.
Previously only open for a brief window on Fridays and Saturdays (or by appointment on Wednesday), the shop will now be open for full days on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. This will give curious shoppers the chance to get a better feel of the Wootten brand’s heritage and aesthetic.
“We wanted to share the [bespoke] process more readily with people,” says Cameron-Wootten. “We have been here for almost four-and-a-half years in Prahran and we thought it was time to make it a bit more accessible.”
The launch coincides with the release of a core range of products that includes shoes and accessories. In contrast to custom-made options, it will allow clients to pick a pre-designed style (either shoes or accessories) which can then be ordered to size. Details such as colour and leather style can be tweaked to taste. However, if you’re lucky enough to fit the display model, you’re welcome to take the pair home on the day.
Unlike your average shopping experience, Wootten’s retail space backs onto the actual workshop, so customers can see first-hand the process that goes into a pair of handmade shoes.
“All of the makers are on-site and the workshop is visible from the retail space. It gives people a window into a working environment of shoemaking because not much is made in Australia anymore.”