Johanna Preston and Petr Zly
It was an innocent remark from Petr Zly (b.1961) to his partner Johanna Preston (b.1967) suggesting she learn how to make shoes to relieve the anxiety of paying for ill-fitting ones, which led to the establishment of Preston Zly in 1993. Preston started studying at Fitzroy TAFE (now part of RMIT University) where she met a master shoemaker whose mission it had become to pass on his dying craft. Zly, who was a sculptor, joined Preston in a series of intensive summer schools and both came away with a few hand tools and a sound knowledge of shoe construction.
Preston Zly is now considered one of Australia’s most remarkable producers of high-fashion, high-quality and highly unusual hand-tooled shoes. They make over 700 pairs of shoes per year, and supply around ten outlets in Australia and overseas. Small production runs provide Preston Zly with a competitive edge, helping to maintain interest from niche markets hungry for something different.
Kelly’s Closet, Atlanta
Montage, Brighton, Melbourne
Paper Doll, Melbourne