Gift Guide from Ops&Ops and Beyond

Shoes are obviously one of the greatest pleasures in life. But there are others, even for us. As it’s the season for gift giving, here are some of our favourite goodies to present to a loved one or put on your own wish list. Let’s spread some joy!

  • Music is always on our wish lists – we love the releases by the musicians featured in our last blog post. This Where The Girls Are is the latest in a series of 60s girl group sounds by Ace Records. Read the notes by our friend and DJ Sheila Burgel, whose regular show Sophisticated Boom Boom can be heard on WFMU.

  • On top of running his Trunk label, Jonny Trunk comes out with 99p download comps, cool tees featuring designs from old record stores and screenprints. Other fun stuff includes this Pop Trumps Northern Soul Edition. This year’s Covid Christmas mix comes free when you spend £30.

  • Samson Soboye was a fab and friendly next-door neighbour when we did a pop-up on Calvert Avenue a few years ago. His designs using bold African prints very much appeal to our 60s sensibilities. Some pieces are online and other accessories including scarves, fans and umbrellas can be found in his shop.

  • For something truly unique, vintage is the way to go. Gems from 1960s-70s boutique labels can be found in our buddy Anja’s Top of the Shops Etsy shop. Search through a larger range, 1900–80s at Paper Dress Vintage. A shop by day, venue by night, they have gift-friendly T-shirts in support of the latter.

  • Through his publishing company Herb Lester, my husband Ben creates “guides to the usual and unusual”. This year we can safely say the unusual is where we’re at. This trio on the occult, cryptid creatures and the unsettling town of Scarfolk will appeal to anyone embracing the weird.

  • Publications by Paul Gorman make a reliably good gift for those with interests in fashion, art, music and pop culture. He wrote The Look of London for Herb Lester, and books documenting Barney Bubbles, Mr Freedom and The Face. His latest The Life and Times of Malcolm McLaren is the ultimate tome on the legendary troublemaker’s life.

  • A bit of personal history has gone into my best friend Christen Carter’s book Button Power: 125 Years Of Saying It With Buttons. Back in 1995, I convinced Christen to move to London. During her time here, we recorded our band The Budget Girls and she met badge artist Mark Pawson. He inspired her to start a button biz when she moved back to the States. Her company Busy Beaver has boomed and the HQ houses the world’s only pin-back button museum. Visit if you’re ever in Chicago!

  • We left our shop on Redchurch Street, but not the hood and are lucky to have a studio nearby, off Arnold Circus. The location isn’t the only great thing about it. Beautiful scents envelop you on entry thanks to GOOD products that studio-mate Michael Smythe develops there. Naturally nurturing and cleansing!

  • Shortly after launching Ops&Ops, leather-goods designer Anna Kreeger invited us to take part in a group pop-up. We’ve been fans of her M.Hulot bags ever since. They have the same timeless, well-made qualities we strive for and pair brilliantly with our footwear. Especially classic colours like Olive, Mushroom, Avocado, Claret and Petrol.

  • Our first choice for socks and hosiery is Falke. Rich colours, beautiful patterns and textures, they work a treat with our footwear. Their tights wear well, keep their shape and are the best ever.  They also make perfect stocking fillers – check them out in our shop and use code THIRTY for 30% off.

  • And of course there is the Ops&Ops gift card! Available to send – free shipping – or as an E-card, values from £25 – £250. We can process E-cards until 23 December.