Martin Shobo is the Global Product Line Manager of Wolverine Heritage and Lifestyle. We rang him up to hear more about his career and his favorite places to spend time in his hometown of London:
I was born and bred in the simple innings of North-East England with my three brothers. I followed through with the majority of my education there, when I decided to follow my “passion for fashion” to Manchester Metropolitan University studying International Fashion Marketing. This primarily set me up for a career in Apparel…or so I thought!
My eclectic background of experience consists of working at Nike HQ and Austin Reed HQ which are both Apparel companies in London. The love of footwear really came from a personal affinity to it, which really drove me into the arms of Wolverine World Wide. I had no experience with shoe making, but my start at Hush Puppies (the most iconic brand of the 90s) gave me all the tools and experience I needed. With the wealth of knowledge in every division of the company, my peers and managers were so passionate about footwear; you couldn’t help but fall in love with not only the process of shoe making but the art itself; which is why I am now working for the ultimate heritage brand, Wolverine.
I find myself educating my friends and family on how a shoe is made, as it’s one of the most beautiful things to watch. The smell of leather in a tannery, the noises of the lasting machines, people hand stitching uppers – it’s simply amazing.
With Wolverine having its own factory up in Big Rapids, Michigan – I have the luxury of working with these skilled people anytime and seeing our ideas come to life on the factory floor.
I currently live in London working for Wolverine Brand Heritage and Lifestyle Collections. When I’m in London here are five of my favourite places to spend my time:
If you want to know what to do on Sunday this is the place. It’s a huge market which stocks so many exotic and beautiful flowers and attracts so many people. Not only a great place for people watching; it has the best little cafes around, ranging from Georgian to classic British.
This place is simply stunning! It’s an absolute art fest, as soon as you walk in. It’s weird, arty and slightly surreal and has some amazing pieces by David Shrigley behind the bar.
It’s a bar set within the Dishoom Kings Cross restaurant. It has an amazing line up of cocktails and always hugely busy. The bar is decorated to remind you of an Indian train Café, which is the perfect setting. Great for after work drinks and the restaurant itself is based on old Irani Café’s from the 60’s
It’s an amazing distillery producing Vodka and Gin right in the East of London in an Old Glue Factory. I love craft breweries, which I am constantly being introduced to in the US, so it’s even more impressive to find an actual distillery in London producing Vodka. A great find to hang out with friends and have some really cool cocktails.
Not only a store in London but also houses some of the coolest collaborations from footwear, apparel and accessories in London. It’s a great treat to spend some time in there and really feel inspired and also pick up a limited purchase. I may have one…or five!