Deborah Carre

1997 QEST Scholar - Shoemaking

QEST launched Deborah on a dramatic career change from marketeer to maker and helped her realise her passion for handsewn shoemaking, first ignited when creating her degree collection with Tricker’s in Northampton.

The scholarship funded an apprenticeship with master shoemaker Paul Wilson, where she met her business partner, James Ducker. After years working independently, they co-founded Carréducker in 2004 and have since built an international reputation for handmade shoes that combine traditional craft skills with a distinct, contemporary aesthetic; entirely tailored to suit personal taste and style.

Based in Shoreditch, London, Carréducker also runs the bespoke shoe departments at Savile Row tailor Gieves & Hawkes and Mayfair gunmakers, James Purdey & Son; and their craftsmanship is part of the permanent exhibition at the Design Museum London.

Champions of their heritage craft, Deborah and James now pass on the trade’s centuries-old specialist skills and techniques to students from around the world.

I knew shoe making was for me – the mix of heart, head and hands – but it was clear that, because mine wasn’t the traditional route, I’d have to carve my own path. I’d like to think that, together with James, we’ve shown it can be done.