Iconic shoe shop to close after 42 years in Harlesden

Tom Gavigan is shutting up his iconic Design Shoes shop in Craven Park Road after 42 years

Tom Gavigan is shutting up his iconic Design Shoes shop in Craven Park Road after 42 years - Credit: Archant

An iconic independent shoe shop in Harlesden is to close its doors for good after 42 years.

Design Shoes in Craven Park Road, has become a landmark of the area after serving hundreds and thousands of customers over the last four decades.

However Tom Gavigan, the shop’s owner, will not be leaving the industry quite yet as he will continue trading at a warehouse in the Hallmark Trading Estate in Wembley, where he will work two days a week.

The 67-year-old told the Times he made the decision to close to allow him to go into semi-retirement.

He said: “I have been thinking about this for a long time.

“This shop is a bit of a landmark. I’ve made a lot of friends here and lots of good memories.”

Acknowledging he has served up to four generations of the same family, he added: “There are sad memories too, you hear of customers dying so I have had a lot of funerals.”

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The Irish businessman also heads up a family company Antonio Pacelli which is managed by his sons Ally and Adrian Gavigan.

Specialising in Irish dancing shoes, the business is named after his parents Anthony and Patricia with an Italian ring added because Mr Gavigan said ‘in those days premium leather came from Italy’.

Recalling one of his funniest moments during his time, he recalled an old lady who hobbled into his shop.

“I asked her if she had a sore foot,“ he said.

“She said ‘no, my niece bought me a G-string for Christmas and I think I put it on back to front.

“That’s not a joke, it’s deadly serious. It was so funny, the shop was full of customers, and she was very funny.”

The shop will be closing in March but Mr Gavigan hopes he won’t lose his cherished customers.

“I hope they will all be coming to the warehouse,” he said.

Design Shoes is located at 34-36 Craven Park Road, Harlesden.

Or you can visit wideshoes.co.uk.

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