One of the last shoe manufactures in Australia
The Parkinson family has owned Parigina Shoes since 1949. Now into the third generation of shoemakers, Brad Parkinson proudly carries on the family tradition.
A family tradition
Allan Parkinson started his career in the footwear industry at the age of 14, when he was employed by a shoe repairer in Footscray during the depression. He quickly developed a passion for the craft, and a few years later was poached by a local footwear retailer to take the role of store manager.
In 1949 Allan purchased McCloud Shoes, a humble store located at 118 Queens St, Melbourne. He ran the business on his own for 10 years before his son Peter joined the family business in 1959.
Peter Parkinson’s two sons, Brad and Paul, both joined the family business in 1989, making it a third generation family owned business.
The introduction of Parigina Shoes
After arriving in Melbourne in the mid 1960's, Italian shoemaker Silvio Ruffato opened the Parigina factory on Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. When Silvio decided to retire in 1987, Peter Parkinson purchased the business. Two years later, the factory moved to Brunswick, and in the same year Brad Parkinson started working, at the age of 17. Brad completed his apprenticeship in footwear in 1996, and still works in the factory today.
A once thriving industry, Parigina Shoes is now one of the last remaining shoe manufactures in Australia, and the only one to specialise in formal menswear.
We have worked with the likes of R.M.Williams, our staff have worked at Foster & Sons and we have a very close relationship with RMIT. We work with the students from the Certificate IV in Custom Made Footwear each year, the last full-time course to study shoe making in Australia.
Determined to keep the industry alive, Parigina Shoes preserves and cultivates the act of shoe making for the next generation.