Terry De Havilland
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Terry De Havilland
Terry de Havilland
Born Terrence Higgins
(1942-11-28) 28 November 1942 (age 75)[]
London, England
Residence London, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Occupation Shoe designer
Label(s) Terry de Havilland

Terry de Havilland (born 1942) is an English shoe designer, often cited as the 'Rock n Roll Cobbler of the 1970s' and is most famed for his key part in the 'Swinging London' fashion scene, with clients including Marianne Faithfull, Led Zeppelin, Bianca Jagger and David Bowie. His iconic platforms are still worn today by the likes of Kate Moss.[1]

Early life

Terry de Havilland was born into a family of cobblers and was young when his parents started their own company, Waverley Shoes. He was already assisting in the workshop at the age of five. The business catered for wealthy West End clientele and showgirls from the city's busy theatres; the business was producing highly popular winklepickers that were selling faster than his father could make them.[]

Design career

While Terry de Havilland was living in Rome, he was called back in 1960 to help with the business. His first pair of self-designed shoes came to the attention of a boutique on the Kings Road in 1964, where they were spotted on the feet of his girlfriend at the time, model Perin Lewis, at a photoshoot. They caught the eye of Queen editor Annie Traherne, who featured them in the magazine and launched the career of de Havilland as a designer.[]

A regular at the hotspots of late 1960s London, de Havilland was caught up in the new and exciting world of the creative scene; a blur of mind-altering drugs. After rifling through his father's attic, he discovered a pair of three-tiered wedges that were so familiar to him from his childhood. He took the design and began to make up new pairs in psychedelic snakeskin colours, which aligned with the 'trippy' fashions of the era.[]His snakeskin shoes helped to bring the top models and movie stars to Kensington Market. The Jolly Boy stall sold the fabulous shoes and as quickly as they were picked up from the factory they were sold.

On 4 May 1970, his father was killed after being accidentally electrocuted in his factory. Terry de Havilland did not abandon the brand and went on to open their own store 'Cobblers to the World' on the Kings Road in 1972, and the company was now doing fourteen trade shows a year. He was making shoes for everyone from Tim Curry in The Rocky Horror Show to leather thigh high boots for Jackie O.[2]

The company was forced into liquidiation in 1979. Inspired by the emerging subculture of Punks and Goths, de Havilland set up a new label entitled 'Kamikazi' in 1980, providing street-style shoes featuring skulls, studs and spikes.[] After the collapse of 'Kamikaze' in 1988, the Terry de Havilland name went on to take the guise of 'Magic Shoes', featuring platform styles and latex boots that proved popular with the clubbers of the 1990s. de Havilland met his future wife Liz in 1990, who helped to build up the brand which by the mid 90s was being stocked by major UK retailers. The company was forced into liquidation in 1999, unable to compete on the global marketplace.[]

The de Havillands then opened 'Cobblers to the World' in Camden Stables Market; a reimagination of the de Havilland seventies heyday combined with a fetish touch, that was visited by stylists, costume designers and eclectic clientele. The company was now producing shoes for international fashion publications and blockbuster film productions, but Terry de Havilland suffered a minor heart attack on Christmas Eve in 2001, and the shop was closed the following February to ensure he could focus on editorial work and rebuild the de Havilland brand.[3]

Terry de Havilland opened a pop up flagship store in London in 2013.


In 2006, Terry de Havilland was nominated as Accessory Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards and in 2010 was awarded a Drapers Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to footwear design over the last fifty years.[4]


  1. ^ "Terry de Havilland arrives in Carnaby". Carnaby News. 
  2. ^ "Who's Who: Terry de Havilland". Vogue. 11 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "High society: shoe designer Terry de Havilland". The Guardian. 28 Apr 2013. 
  4. ^ "Terry de Havilland Interview". Drapers. 29 May 2010. 

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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