My Independent Marylebone: Martel+Ram

Q&A with Kevin Martel, co-founder of Martel+Ram.

Tell us about your business?

The Martel+Ram mission is to make classic men’s footwear that is as light, comfortable and versatile as your favourite trainer. Most quality English shoes are still made with 19th Century processes. That look and nostalgia will likely continue to have its place in the market, but there’s a significant and growing portion of the English footwear customer base that wants a more contemporary, comfort-focused product. We use high-quality, modern materials and techniques that are more similar to those used in a trainer than those used in traditional Goodyear Welted shoes. We love the style and shape of classic English footwear, but comfort is non-negotiable to us nowadays; especially as both are entirely achievable.

What makes your establishment special?

Our product, our customer service… and our beer fridge.

What is coming up for the brand?

More product and choice. We've launched five new styles already this year, including unconstructed suede Desert Boots and Penny Loafers after many requests from our customers. We will continue evolve the store organically. We’re also working on some more new styles for later in the year, like a classic Brogue and a Chelsea boot. It is not about creating giant collections just for the sake of presentation. The brand mission is to create a wardrobe of key styles that every guy needs and to keep offering those styles in new colour and material options.

What do you love about Marylebone Village?

Marylebone is one of the most desirable retail and residential neighbourhoods in London. We really love the village vibe and have been fortunate enough to significantly grow our local customer base since opening our store on New Cavendish Street. The retail/hospitality mix in Marylebone is well curated. The neighbourhood is a popular destination for shoppers who are looking to discover new restaurants and designers, so it is the perfect place for emerging brands like us to showcase our craft and flourish.

What is your favourite memory in Marylebone Village?

At the moment, reopening our store after the lockdown! It is great to be back in business!

Where is your favourite place to eat?

We are split on this one: I would have to say Le Relais de Venise for their excellent steak and fries – but Charley [Ram] would argue that Caldesi has the best Italian food in London.