A. McDonald Shoemaker
Neatly tucked away among the Strand Arcade’s third floor sit three shopfronts boasting the name A. McDonald – Shoemaker and as you wander past, each shopfront offers a different perspective into the world of Andrew McDonald. A collection of drum sanders and sewing machines fill a window, benches with hand tools fill another and a retail section is housed in the third. As you enter the shop, the combination of dark timbers, the smell of leather and the low hum of tools create a unique atmosphere.
McDonald started his working life as a photographer in London, when he was asked to photograph Paul Harnden, a bespoke shoemaker. McDonald would later train with John Lobb, a British shoemaker, and finetune his shoemaking skills before returning to Australia and opening a shop under his own name. Now, from his Strand Arcade location, you can take advantage of some 20 years experience.
McDonald has a ready-to-wear collection available but he offers a made-to-order service for more discerning feet. The made-to-order process starts with an initial fitting, where McDonald will discuss style, fit and material. After a test shoe is made, a pullover will take place to ensure size and style is correct. A final fitting will ensure every detail is perfect. If that’s not enough to satisfy, he offers a five-day course where you can make your own shoes.