In conjunction with Carnival Australia, the Fortis Green shoeshine service was included on-board luxury Ocean Liner ‘Queen Elizabeth’ as part of their promotional event to launch the ship’s collaboration with iconic Australian brands Akubra and R.M. Williams.

The two proudly Australian brands will feature on the luxury Cunard vessel where the line’s bellboys will swap their traditional red and black uniforms and caps for R.M. Williams’ boots, trousers, shirts, belts and jackets, topped by an Akubra hat while the ‘Queen Elizabeth’ is in Australia for an extended 2019 season.

Our expert shoe shiner Billy wears Akubra while working on-board the ‘Queen Elizabeth’ Ocean Liner

Our expert shoe shiner Billy wears Akubra while working on-board the ‘Queen Elizabeth’ Ocean Liner


In August 2018 Fortis Green shoeshine once again worked alongside Oscar Hunt Tailors to promote their made to measure suiting service. Over three days we offered complimentary shoe shines within the light filled lobby of 567 Collins Street, Melbourne.  

While guests received their luxury shoeshine, staff from Oscar Hunt had the opportunity to develop a rapport with potential customers, develop future leads and explain their services in a relaxed atmosphere. 

Oscar Hunt Tailors pop-up at 567 Collins Street Melbourne

Oscar Hunt Tailors pop-up at 567 Collins Street Melbourne

Fortis Green X MJ Bale

In 2009 M.J. Bale founder Matt Jensen had an idea to create a totally unique Australian menswear brand that revolved around quality of product and quality of in-store experience. Now with over 50 stores across Australia & New Zealand, the M.J. Bale brand has become synonymous with classic men's style. 

To celebrate the launch of the brand's Highpoint store, special guests and shoppers alike were welcome on the day to relax with a coffee and receive a complimentary shoeshine in one of our two matching traditional shoeshine chairs. 

M.J. Bale store launch at Highpoint Shopping Centre

M.J. Bale store launch at Highpoint Shopping Centre


New Zealand footwear retailer Merchant 1948 contracted Fortis Green shoeshine for a day of complimentary shoe shining for both their customers and Chadstone Shopping Centre shoppers.

This unique activation promoted their brand new Merchant Workshop, exclusive to their Merchant Chadstone store. The Merchant Workshop within the Chadstone Shopping Centre is a one-stop shop for shoe repairs, monogramming, and upgrading your favourite shoes or boots with Vibram soles, for longer-lasting wear. 

Merchant 1948 launch promotion at Chadstone Shopping Centre

Merchant 1948 launch promotion at Chadstone Shopping Centre

Fortis Green X Oscar Hunt Tailors

Fortis Green shoeshine worked alongside Oscar Hunt Tailors in April 2018 to promote their made to measure service. Over three days we offered complimentry shoe shines within the prestigious lobby of 360 Collins Street, Melbourne.  

While guests received their luxury shoeshine, staff from Oscar Hunt had the opportunity to develop a rapport with potential customers, develop future leads and explain their services in a relaxed atmosphere. 

Oscar Hunt Tailors pop-up at 360 Collins Street Melbourne

Oscar Hunt Tailors pop-up at 360 Collins Street Melbourne

Fortis Green at the Races

Fortis Green Shoeshine returned to Flemington for the 2017 Melbourne Cup Carnival offering free shoeshines within two exclusive venues onsite. Organised by The Atlantic Group, our two new classic shoeshine chairs featured in The Rose Room and the Makybe Diva Marquee across all four days of the Spring Racing Carnival including Derby Day, Melbourne Cup, Oaks and Stakes Day. 

Both venues offer world class hospitality with breathtaking views of the racecourse. Positioned in front of The Winning Post,  both The Rose Room and Makybe Diva marquee offered guests a stylish environment perfectly suited to our luxury shoeshine service.

Our shoeshine staff gave the racegoers a run for their money in the best dressed stakes and the popularity of our service was unprecedented. 

Another successful Cup Week. See you next year Flemington!

Makybe Diva Marquee - Flemington 2017

Makybe Diva Marquee - Flemington 2017

Fortis Green X Optus 'Yes' forum

On Wednesday 1st November Fortis Green provided shoe shining services on the Melbourne leg of the Optus 'Yes' Forum - an event for approximately 150 guests at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Hosted by Optus, this series of national presentations allowed attendees to gain insights from business leaders and discover the latest in IT solutions. The keynote speaker was Steve Sammartino, one of Australia's most respected futurists and business technologists.

The Fortis Green shoeshine team were on hand with our twin shoeshine chairs providing complimentary shines between presentations. Most guests took advantage of our shoe shining activation with well over 60% of the total attendees utilising our luxury service.

Having our two identical shoeshine chairs working side by side allowed for our staff to shine the footwear of a larger number of patrons within the relatively short times between presentations as well as some great networking opportunities with business cards being swapped from chair to chair during the shines. 

Optus 'Yes' Forum Melbourne - Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre 

Optus 'Yes' Forum Melbourne - Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre 

Fortis Green X Kings and Knaves

Recently opening at 277 William Street in Melbourne, Kings and Knaves Espresso engaged the Fortis Green shoeshine service as a promotional vehicle to both increase awareness of the cafe and as a reward for their loyal customers.

In the week leading up to the event, Kings and Knaves promoted their complimentary shoeshine activation through their social media channels, leading to a consistently busy event. 

This fantastic cafe is well placed next to Flagstaff Station and the law courts. With a fast growing reputation for great food, coffee and service, combined with their savvy marketing strategy, Kings and Knaves is already receiving rave reviews from publications such as Broadsheet.  

We received great feedback from Kings and Knaves with a number of regular customers requesting we become a permanent addition to their venue. 

PHOTOS COURTESY OF   @kingsandknavesespresso

PHOTOS COURTESY OF @kingsandknavesespresso

Fortis Green X Cotton on Group

The Cotton on Group held their company Christmas Party early this year so they could combine the festivities with the fun of the Geelong Cup.

Fortis Green's diamond buttoned full leather shoeshine chair was on hand  to compliment the hair and makeup service in the "Fillies and Colts Stable". The weather was perfect and Billy our Cobbler turned shoe shiner looked the part among the fashionable revelers. 



Fortis Green Shoeshine continued our longstanding relationship with Ted Baker at the 2017 Caulfield Cup Carnival. Over two consecutive Saturdays including Caulfield Guineas Day on the 14th of October and the Caulfield Cup on the 21st October, we provided shoeshines on belhalf of Ted Baker within the David Jones Fashion Stable marquee. 

A luxury trackside precinct open to every race-goer, the David Jones Fashion Stable is at the centre of all the style, colour and race action that the Spring Racing Carnival is renowned for. Our premiere shoeshine service is the perfect way for fashion forward brands such a Ted Baker to introduce Melbourne's style conscious shoppers to their aesthetic and an easy way to assist Ted Baker in building their mailing list in a friendly and non intrusive way.


What should you really be paying for quality shoes?

What should you really be paying for quality shoes? 

You might think leather is leather, but when it comes to shoes this is certainly not the case. Especially, if you want a pair that not only lasts but gets better with age.

THE AGE 'Executive Style' journalist Jeremy Loadman talks to Fortis Green's Ray Willmoth

Read the full story here EXECUTIVE STYLE

NPS British Goodyear Welted shoes

NPS British Goodyear Welted shoes


Throughout the late 19th century, shoeshine boys plied their trade on the streets of the Australia, the United Kingdom and America. Setting up portable stations outside of busy pedestrian thoroughfares like railway platforms and the business districts of large cities, offering to buff shoes with everything from tallow, through to beeswax and honey. The Industrial Revolution had brought with it the mass production of shoes in factories, and because the general public was accustomed to spending a proportionally high percentage of their yearly wage on footwear, it was important to find methods of making their shoes last longer, like a regular wax and buff.

By the 1900s, specialty shoe shine products were in high demand. The first shoe polish to resemble the modern varieties that we know today (designed primarily to produce shine) was invented in Melbourne, by Scottish ex-patriots William Ramsey and Hamilton McKellan. Called ‘Kiwi’, the boot polish incorporated ingredients that increased suppleness and added water resistance. The popularity of ‘Kiwi’ spread far and wide during WWI, when Australian and New Zealand troops would trade tins of polish for cartons of cigarettes and other luxury items along the front line. The first World War also necessitated the use of polish for shining belts, gun holsters and horse tack.


During the Great Depression many unemployed men turned to the art of polishing shoes, earning enough money to keep their families afloat. Relatively cheap to buy, one tin of polish could last a shoeshine several weeks, and like the local barber shop, the shoeshine chair became a popular spot to congregate, share stories and offer life advice. 

In 1956 Johnny Cash released ‘Get Rhythm’ as the B-side to his number one hit, ‘Walk The Line’. Based around the life of a shoeshine boy who develops rhythm and blues to overcome with the tedium of his job, the country superstars’ track was, perhaps surprisingly, not the first pop cultural reference to the tough business of polishing shoes.  

The history of shoe shining in modern cinema can be traced back to the 1943 short film, ‘The Shoe Shine Boy’. Produced by MGM, the story traces a day in the life of a young shoe shiner, desperate to raise $2 for a second hand trumpet before being shipped off to war.  Although the 15-minute film is obvious WWII propaganda, the young boys’ efforts are not out of the realm of possibility. In fact, the “god-father of soul”, James Brown, started out as a shoe shine in Augusta, Georgia, earning 3 cents a pair.

During the 1960s and 70s it became increasingly popular for men to wear athletic trainers instead of leather shoes and boots. As a result, the previous demand for polish and shoe shining services began to fall. The recent resurgence in “dapper” style has seen a return to traditional services like cut throat shaving and shoe shine chairs. Fortis Green is proud to announce the launch of their own shoe shining service, available for hire throughout Melbourne, perfect for your next party, corporate event or function. Contact for more information.

Fortis Green shoeshine wins Melbourne Design Award

The Fortis Green shoeshine team were delighted to receive a silver medal at The Melbourne Design Awards for our full leather, hand made bespoke shoeshine chair.

Standing at over 2 two meters tall it took 16 square meters of leather and over 6 metres of individually welded pieces of steel to make. It features 59 hand made leather buttons and combines the old world upholstery technique of Diamond Buttoning and traditional piping with the hard edge Art Deco period of the 1930's. 

Fortis Green commissioned Industrial Designer Craig Willmoth to create a chair that challenged and reinvented what a traditional shoe-shine chair could be. We wanted more than just a generic copy of a shoe shine chair found in a Google image search. We asked him to create a striking, fit for purpose theatre piece, that owned any room, demanded attention and most importantly provided an experience for anyone sitting in it that was not easily forgotten. 

Craig used the Shoe shine foot rest to add an Art Deco element to the chair - fusing steel with upholstery. He designed the feet to invoke the ascetic of a 1930's car hood emblem.  Using 8ml round mild steel he individually welded each piece together side by side. He then then hand ground the joined pieces to bring the shape of the feet to life and powder coated the finished product. The result is a perfectly symmetrical and ergonomic shoe shining foot rest that speaks to the 1930's, while integrating with the traditional diamond buttoned leather.

Craig used the one metre rule taught to him by his mentor to ensure a person of any height would be able to comfortably sit in the chair and reach the foot-rests. The one metre rule gives a rule of thumb for the most comfortable seating experience. The seat depth is calculated by subtracting the overall height of the seat (from the base), from 1 meter.

We were delighted with the results and proud to see Craig's work recgonised by Driven X Design.