About the artist


Following is a selection of articles and excerpts written by others about me, my footwear or about collaborations that I have been involved in.

Some of them contain inaccuracies.

2017, May - Australian Financial Review -lifestyle section, by Georgina Safe

2013, July 14th – Radio New Zealand, Spectrum Interview website précis and MP3 audio file of the interview.

2013, July – Sole Trader article in North and South, NZ.

2012, June 28th – Craftsmanship with sole article in 'Waiheke Weekender', NZ.

2011, March – Cool Treads article in 'Life Times' online magazine, SA

2007, Sep – If the shoes fit article in 'Marie Claire', SA.

2000, Feb – Sole searching feature in 'Grace' magazine, NZ.

Disclaimer: Please contact myself and the copyright holder before repeating anything in these links, or inferring anything from them.


Dear Sue . . .

letters I may even take my new boots on an outing tonight - ssOOOO exciting - thank you x 1000 000!!! They look awesome, divine, heavenly!!! Thanks also very much indeed for your flexibility and patience related to me trying out and pondering over the sandals. I do think that if I could afford it, I would want to have you make every shoe of mine for the rest of my life. It was really cool meeting you and spending time with you. Good luck in NZ! Warm regards, Kyle

letters My feet and I think of you every single day with deep gratitude and no small measure of affection. Thank you. Jen

letters I feel as excited as I did as a young child when I put on my new jarmies in the middle of the afternoon and jumped into bed. Thank you for my shoes. J

letters We just heading into another welly winter and i was just polishing up my favourite brown ankle boots and just realised they are entering there 10th year!! so i thought well i d figured i prob wear them 3 months a year and now they come in at 40 cents per wear and they are still just like new WHAT A BARGAIN well thats enough maths for the day. xxx Lisa

lettersGood lord they are so lovely!!!!!!! thank you. they cause ripples wherever I go, Ciska

lettersOh my! I can't stop looking at my new boots they are sooooo beautiful! And they fit completely perfectly. I put them on as soon as I came home from work today and have only just taken them off. Thank you super clever lady! I'm feeling very lucky!I love the little bit of texture too... I can't wait to wear them to work tomorrow. A

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About the artist

My walkabout

I left Africa in the late 80's for Montreal (by boat) with an artists co-operative. Having gained a degree in economics & a teaching diploma at the University of Cape Town - I was ready to explore the world and leave behind the prevailing atmosphere of conflict and injustice in Apartheid South Africa. Travelling the USA by bus , city to city gave me a good taste for self sufficiency and less interest in the corporate world.

By 1990 I was living in London and using my knowledge gained as a self taught crafter, I began a full-time career in shoemaking, trading on various street markets.

1993/94 was devoted to studying shoe design at Cordwainers College and gaining work experience in various bespoke shoe making establishments in London.

"the last will be first" a motto learnt from John Lobb Bootmakers, where I spent time as an intern in their lastmaking department, whilst studying at Cordwainers College, London 1993.

Following my studies, I ran a boutique shoe and leather goods business in Camden Lock, together with Henry Tomkins an established artisan bag maker. During this time I was very fortunate to be mentored by shoe makers, namely a last maker, a closer and a clicker, all of whom worked for John Lobb Bootmakers. With their combined guidance and support, I managed to sustain my small business and gradually built a solid clientele of bespoke footwear fanatics.

I moved to my partner's hometown, Wellington, in 1998 and set up a small bespoke business, "Something Shoetable", on Upper Cuba St. In 2006, we moved to Cape Town, South Africa, to spend quality time with my family. Here I launched the 'Zasu' brand and a bespoke shoe making studio in Observatory.

By 2011 it was time for us to head back to NZ, to be closer to our family here. As a keen gardener it seemed the perfect spot to set up studio at the bottom of the garden, amongst the trees and birds. The "shoemakers shed" is just 5 minutes walk from the village, in the heart of Oneroa, Waiheke Island, Auckland.

I am open to visitors by appointment most days. Just give me a call and I will be happy to take you on a quick walk in tour of my studio.


Mailing List

sueshoeTo get a newsletter every so often with stuff about workshops and what’s going on in my studio, please send your name and email address to: studio@sue-engels.co.nz   and I will add you to my mailing list.