The London flagship store of Joseph Cheaney & Sons, a traditional English shoe brand that has been in business for over 125 years, has a surprisingly contemporary look. Nothing about interior maker Checkland Kindleysides’ design brings to mind the mahogany, overly antiqueish, dark-mooded outlet you would normally expect of a brand with such a long record of service. Rather, the designers chose the unique men’s leather shoe production process as the basis for their design.

Checkland Kindleysides took a modern approach to ‘Made in England’ and divided the shop into two sections that each tell their own part of the story. The first section of the shop highlights every aspect of the prospective purchase – from glass display cases filled with rolls of leather in different shades to a model of the Northamptonshire factory and mounted sketches that single out the construction of a lace-up shoe. Deeper into the shop, the actual fitting room is located behind curved glass doors. The boardroom area, say the designers, is rather like a modern gentleman’s room. Here, the visitor installs himself in one of the elegant armchairs that set off the deep blue interior, watched from the rear by founder Joseph Cheaney and his son Arthur. The classic frames of the two stately portraits gave way to Perspex boxes – in line with the interior, which does not feel outdated at all. Neither is the back wall, lined with original lasts, each one unique and numbered: from a distance, the rhythmic effect of the repetitive rows of lasts takes on an abstract connotation.

The shoemaker’s craft, celebrated in a modern way. If any shop can close a generation gap – in the field of men’s footwear – Joseph Cheaney & Sons probably stands a good chance.