How did 124 originate?
124 originated through identifying an opportunity in the market to provide a brand that fits between luxury brands and mass-market retailers. We pride ourselves on not playing the traditional numbers game of retail by driving volume with a low value proposition in a very cluttered and busy retail landscape. Our customers will not be treated as just a number, so our brand story is very fitting with a focus on providing a personalised service and expertise to those who have a deep appreciation for superior quality footwear.
Where are your shoes made?
We respect and love the tradition of Italian made shoes. Primarily our collection is strategically sourced from Italian manufacturers that still embrace artisan craftsmanship and pay particular attention to premium grade leathers and finishes. However, we also deal with notable artisan Spanish and Portuguese manufacturers that fit into the 124 model. Our focus is offering our customers a unique experience of genuine quality footwear.
How do I justify spending hundreds of dollars on my shoes?
Some people spend a small fortune buying lots of mass produced shoes while others blow their budget on only a few pairs of designer shoes. Hand made shoes can cost between $200 and $3000+ depending on the level of craftsmanship and grades of materials used. At 124 we firmly believe that you get what you pay for, meaning that you will get a longer life span and value for money over a long period of time from a hand made shoe.
Hand crafted footwear not necessarily only designer brands have a definable level of craftsmanship. We believe in the aesthetic, timeless designs that go into hand made shoes. Pioneering techniques like washing, burning and object dying with high quality materials, such as cordovan horse, and kudu gives each product their unique identifiable signature. Various constructions such as good year welts, rapid blake provides the comfort, durability and sturdiness that is only possible with hand made footwear.
Once you own a pair of shoes created with so much love, passion and attention to detail you'll never step back.
Have I purchased the right size?
It is always a question of fit rather than size. Your size will always vary depending on various last, shapes, constructions and manufactures. Getting the right fit is an art in itself. However with the right customer service and expertise that we provide at 124 we can guarantee we'll will fit you into a pair of quality shoes that you'll enjoy wearing.
A pair of shoes will be at their most uncomfortable state in the first few weeks of wears. It is important to understand that the leather being a skin will begin to soften and stretch through out the first few months of wear. The sole and construction will also become more flexible and pliable with wear during these initial months.
Given that you understand the nature and characteristics of the materials used on leather shoes, initially the right fitting should feel comfortably firm. There should be no movement or notable discomfort around the heel and your toes should not be touching the front of the shoe.
How long will my shoes last me?
Well, these are the questions that we need to be asking you for us to give you accurate advice on how your shoes will wear:
How often do you wear your shoes?
Do you rotate your shoes?
Do you nourish and protect you shoes with the right products?
Do you use shoetrees?
Do you use a shoehorn or do you force your feet into your shoes?
How hard are you on your shoes?
Do you re-sole and re-heel your shoes when required, or just let them wear right out?
Send us an email or alternatively come and visit us at 124 and we will advise you on how to maximise the life of your shoes.
Does wearing my new pair of shoes in the rain affect and ruin the leather?
No they will not be permanently damaged. However, it's important to try to avoid wearing your favourite pair of shoes in wet conditions. The weather in Australia tends to show us all 4 seasons in one day, so the management of your shoes is as important as looking after your shoes.
In the unfortunate event that your shoes are wet it is important to air them out and then stuff them with newspaper so that the water dries out naturally. After this it is important to put your shoetrees back in the shoes in order to preserve the original structure of the shoe. The difference between a shoe lasting one year and four years is the preservation of one's shoes.
Do you recommend topy soles?
Topy soles have been used for years as a resolution to wear and tear of soles. The way you treat your shoes plays a major role when deciding if you should get a topy sole or not. A person, who wears shoes to work every day, or regularly on heavy construction sites, must have a topy sole to help ensure the longevity of the sole unit.
Having a topy sole might seem to have all the advantages needed to help the longevity of a shoe, yet leather soles help shoes to breathe and reduce moisture levels. Shoes created by craftsmen should be rested and air-dried after each wear. It is recommended that you rotate between a few pairs of shoes, which will help ensure the shoes' longevity and life span of the leather sole.
Shoes should never be worn continuously, yet if you tend to wear them more than 4 times a week and work on heavy floors its essential to get a topy sole for the protection of the unit. So applying a topy in this case will extend the life of your shoes.
If you have any questions about your shoes, come into 124 where we use a shoe cobbler who is familiar with artisan shoes and who will recommend the best possible repair for your loved pair of shoes.
There's a hole in my shoe, what do I do?
If there is hole in the bottom of your shoe, remain calm. We will help rectify this problem. Bring your shoes to 124 and we'll do everything possible to repair your shoes and bring them back to life.
What should I use to look after my leather and suede shoes?
*For leather rejuvenation see our shoe care section.
*Suede leather is made from the underside of the skin whether it is lamb skin, goat or a calf skin. Most people are under the impression that if they purchase a pair of suede shoes they will instantaneously destroy them.
Suede shoes provide us with a look that is casual and may be dressed as well. It is important to ensure the shoes are not drenched, but if they do get drenched we have a few solutions for you.
Spraying a good quality Scotchguard or water stain protector on your suede shoes will give them more protection and help protect them on those rainy nights. If water has seeped into your suede shoes wipe them down with a damp cloth, then brush them and apply Scotchguard them to return them to their original condition. For more stubborn marks use a suede shampoo that can be bought from cobblers.
What should I do if I want every pair?At 124 we have a collection of shoes that are authentic and unique, whilst focusing on quality craftsmanship. On entering the shop you may fall in love with one pair, or even five pairs. We tend to do small size runs, so inevitably you may miss out. At the same time, although you may have missed out previously, there is sure to be another style that will catch your eye.
When will 124 be opening a store interstate?
In a short time we have established a clientele from all around Australia. We will continue to grow our business step by step and in time look to have a store in every major city in Australia.