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From Retail Around the World - Burlington Arcade

From Retail Around the World - Burlington Arcade

Name : Asif Mushtaq
Job Role : Store Manager
Retail Shop / Country : Burlington Arcade, London

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What did you do before you started with Crockett & Jones?
I first started part time at Clarks in London and then moved on to Church’s as a manager.

Why did you decide that retail was a career you wanted to pursue, and what brought you to Crockett & Jones?
Having been working with shoes from the age of 15 years old, I decided to work full time at Church’s after university. Working in the top end of this sector I was asked to join Crockett & Jones by Mr Steve Murdoch, who was the manager at the time. A new challenge presented itself.

Can you remember the first pair of shoes you ever sold?
Yes, a pair of Connaught's in Black Calf to a senior customer who had many of the same style previously. A personal favourite.

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How long have you been working for Crockett & Jones? In that time, are there any standout / interesting moments?
I have been working for Crockett & Jones for 16 years, and have had a great number of interesting moments. Being sent to our New York store to run it for a number of days was a highlight. Meeting our customers who are based in New York was so exciting, and feeling their charisma’s and warm hearts was wonderful.

What shoes did you wear to work today?
Audley in Dark Brown Antique Calf. My comfy classics, they work for all occasions.

Working in London, you must know some hidden gems. Tell us something interesting about the City that you would happily recommend your customers do or see.
Many times I have been to see exhibitions and collections at the Royal Academy, and have helped at least two of my customers who have exhibited there. The most famous being Mr David Hockney. But most recently a customer had a show all about his love of boots and showing them in many different lights. I would recommend visiting.

From the current collection, what is your favourite Crockett & Jones style?
My most interesting shoes are one of two, firstly a Chestnut Lizard skin lace up from the anniversary collection around 10 years ago, and Gerrard, a two-tone oxford spectator shoe.

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In your opinion, what really makes a pair of Crockett & Jones shoes special? Is it the Design, the Construction, the Heritage, the people?
I feel it’s a mix of the original family who have a keen eye on style, heritage and understanding changing needs. People have always wanted timeless shoes of good quality but great value for money, for men and more importantly for women.

Who inspires you professionally and personally?
From the start, the two people to whom I have worked very closely with are Jonathan Jones and Steve Murdoch. With help from them our business has been aided to flourish to great heights today, by being improved and modernized with a brand name and identity second to none.

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There has been a wave of excitement towards English manufacturing and English brands over the past 5 years, where do you see the men’s footwear industry going over the next 5 years?

There are many new markets opening up for us, South America, Asia and India are bringing a multitude of new loyal custom who are after high quality, traditional style and fitted shoes. Many of these customers who would normally go and shop at the luxury brands are buying Northampton made shoes because of their durability and timeless style. I can visage a resurgence in English footwear.

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