Footwear enthusiast's new brand stays loyal to his roots
Back in 2016, the founder of LANX Shoes, Marv Vaghetti, (33), who lives on Eshton Terrace, didn’t know how to make a shoe.
But that all changed on July 26th of that year when Marv was inspired to roll up his sleeves, pack his bags and set off on a six month adventure.
“The purpose of the adventure was to have the best time of my life, have a few mad nights out along the way and to learn everything I could about making shoes,” Marv explained. “I wrestled with Sumos in Japan, chatted with monks in Cambodia and trekked the Great Wall of China. In all I visited 10 countries, met some fascinating people and picked up countless shoe industry secrets along the way.
“Most of the shoe people I visited were still manufacturing by hand, a pre-historic skill almost extinct in the UK. The look, smell and sound of a small back street workshop in Sri Lanka or a mega factory in Vietnam was inspiring and left a lasting impression on me.”
During his travels Marv visited countless shoe designers, suppliers and manufacturers, looking for creative inspiration for the LANX brand and shoe designs.
When asked why he travelled all the way to Asia to learn his trade, Marv said: “I could have gone back to university to study, I could have relocated and tried to get a job at one of the very few remaining shoe factories in the UK, possibly gone to work in the US, or gone to work with some of the great European shoemakers. These would have all been sensible options, however there lies the problem, I’m not very good at being sensible. I wanted to learn in a unique way, have life changing experiences, be inspired not only by different shoemakers but also by different people and cultures. I wanted to return home a different person, with a bank of footwear knowledge, but also a spring of creativity in my step.”
LANX shoes fuse overseas flair with solid British tradition. Designing business casual shoes, each collection has unique embossments and stylish broguing plus the finest leather and British sourced textiles. True to Marv’s Lancashire roots, every shoe is stamped with the LANX rose and the brand’s mascot is a ballsy British white bull which originates from Whalley Abbey. The British White is the same breed which King James I is said to have knighted during a meal at Hoghton Tower, near Preston, in 1617, giving name to the “Sirloin” steak.
LANX do not mass produce, they create limited release shoes, with as few as 30 pairs manufactured in some styles. And each style of shoe is designed and tested in Whalley to meticulously high standards.
After studying art at Oxford Brookes University, Marv, who plays rugby for Clitheroe Rugby Club, got into events and then marketing and was approached by a few footwear companies to assist with their own marketing activities.
“I enjoyed the projects and thought I’d give it a go myself. However, I quickly discovered that creating unique and quality footwear is a lot more difficult than it looked,” said Marv, who went on to gather all the knowledge he needed to launch his business during his six-month travels in Asia.
“LANX shoes are inspired by my home in Lancashire and the places and people I meet on my adventures,” he added.
LANX shoes is launching its website and AW18 range later this month and a special launch event plus a pop-up shop is being held on Saturday, May 26th, and Sunday, May 27th, from 12 to 6pm, at NuShu, 29 King Street, Whalley.
LANX’s AW18 range of shoes, clothes and socks will be on display and there will be cold beers, music, sumo wrestlers, dogs riding skateboards and a few other surprises.
For more about LANX and to watch a video from Marco’s shoe adventure visit www.lanxshoes.com or follow the brands Instagram page @lanxshoes.
LANX is also offering a free shoe delivery service for the people of the Ribble Valley on its tricycle named “The Ribble Valley Rocket” with a donation to charity encouraged.