A WHALLEY man is putting his heart and sole into his new business venture.

Marco Vaghetti, founder of Lanx Shoes, has travelled the globe to perfect the art of shoemaking.

Visiting 10 countries, including Vietnam, Cambodia and Sri Lanka, Mr Vaghetti has created a range of classic gentleman’s shoes that launches at the end of the month.

A former marketing executive, the 33-year-old has always had a love of shoes and set out on a quest to create his own Lancashire brand.

He said: “I got a letter, a very positive letter, and it was the thing that pushed me to really give it a go.

“I’ve always loved footwear but I didn’t know how to make shoes.

“So I decided that I needed to travel and visit people who made shoes across the globe. I wanted to learn from the masters, so I spent a lot of time with people who made their shoes by hand.

“It was a real education and a real adventure.

“I’ve tried to bring these influences into my designs and give them a Lancashire twist.”

Based on classic designs, they have incorporated a Lancashire rose within them, and on the sole the English white bull., the same breed in the story of King James is said to have knighted a particularly tasty loin from that breed, hence the name sirloin.

Also incorporated on the sole are symbols from his travels, including The Great Wall of China.

He said: “I wanted to create a range for young professionals that they could wear to work but also could wear on a night out, a sort of business casual style.

“I try to use Lancashire-based materials, such as tweed in some of the designs. I set up some social media channels, and the response I’ve had has been phenomenal.

“I’ve had requests for brochures from Germany, the Philippines, Nigeria, Cyprus and Vietnam.

“It’s very encouraging, so when we launch the website I’m hoping we can become another great Lancashire business.”

Mr Vaghetti is set to move into his new premises today and will officially launch the Lanx brand at a special event to take place on May 26, from noon to 6pm, at NuShu, 29 King Street, Whalley, BB7 9SP.