Our Story

A Melbourne Institution

Evans has been proudly developing a tradition of fine workmanship for over 60 years in the Royal Arcade, Melbourne CBD. Evans has since established itself as a boutique workshop specialising in leather items of value and is well regarded amongst designers, fashionistas and retailers.

The Migrant Craftsman

The story of Evans began in September 1956 with the opening of the workshop adding to the diverse specialty and boutiques shops within the Royal Arcade. A highly skilled European migrant, Evan Skliros (later to be better known as Mr. Evans) practiced his leather-making craft among aspiring Melbourne fashion designers.

Photo – A young Mr. Evans in the early Royal Arcade shopfront in the late 1950s.


Changes in the Australian fashion landscape with a shift towards overseas manafacturing coincided with a natural shift of the workshop towards shoe, handbag and leather repairs.

Photo – Mr. Evans in the shopfront with bridal shoes in the display. Bridal coverings remain a popular service with many generational customers sometimes coming in on the recommendation of their mothers- who remember getting their wedding shoes done at Evans.

The Evans Heritage Workshops

Evans quickly became popular amongst Melbournians as the workshop became established as a destination for the more difficult and unusual jobs. The main workshops remained centralised within the Royal Arcade to ensure quality craftsmanship could be maintained.

Photo – the pre-renovated Royal Arcade, with boutique shops and the Evans workrooms on the upper levels

Renovation of Evans and the Royal Arcade

The refurbishment of the Royal Arcade in 2002 coincided with the restoration of the shop front to its original architectural design. The small shop front with it’s iron cast staircase leading up to the workshop remains a Royal Arcade fixture and continues to provide quality craftsmanship to customers old and new.

Photo – The renovated shop front by architect Kenneth Edelstein, who also oversaw the refurbishment of the Royal Arcade.