The class British shoemaker Ducker & Son in Oxford is taking down the sign. The company was founded in 1898 and has since serviced students, professors and others in the academic city with classic British bespoke shoes and RTW / MTO. But the interest has dropped, the couple who run the shop are old, and now the story has come to an end.
Ducker & Son was founded by Edward Ducker in the late 1800’s. He passed away in 1947, left the company to his wife, who just two weeks later also died. Others within the firm took over, and it now has for decades been run by the couple Bob and Isobel Avery. In their last archive you find names like J.R.R. Tolkien, Evelyn Vaugh, Rowan Atkinson and Jeremy Clarkson. Due to the city’s many students with a limited purse it has since way back also offered RTW and MTO under their own name at good prices, manufactured by different factories in Northampton. Bespoke is also relatively low in price, starting at around £ 1700, where measurements and fittings have been made by Bob, the lasts produced by Springline, and then closing and making was done by freelance workers. Above all, the good service is what Duckers are known for.
Ducker & Son was the only remaining bespoke shoemaker in Oxford, soon there’s no one left. Although we see a rise in interest in classic quality shoes, it’s not that there’s milk and honey for everyone. Ducker & Son is an example of this. Competition has intensified, including e-commerce and chain stores that also focus more on the shoe type. It’s a bit ironic that many of the new players in many cases play on a history and tradition that’s often non existing, while those who really has this doesn’t survive.