In my overloaded Inbox, few things catch my interest like an email advertising a SALE at one of my favourite stores. When one arrived recently from Rupert Sanderson, I scanned through the featured shoes with the experienced focus of a lioness scanning the savannah, until I found my perfect prey, a pair of pointy-toed flats at 50% off, (crucially in my size, which almost never happens) so I rushed off to their flagship store to pounce on them before someone else did. I love these shoes; they’re very modern and very retro at the same time (a real theme in my closet) and I could see myself getting a lot of wear out of them, since I own almost no flats.
Whilst I was purring over my new shoes, who walks into the shop but Rupert Sanderson himself! He wanted to know which shoes I’d bought, and he said the 1960’s-influenced triangular piece at the front of these was one of his favourite designs. Personally, I just like the little peek of skin showing through the window on the shoe! He also used it on a beautiful mid-heel in red (OMG, how beautiful are they?).
I gushed my appreciation to him about many other shoes in his shop, but especially THESE:
He’s done them before in black, but I think the new version in rich blue suede works well with the 1970’s influence and the denim seen everywhere for Spring Summer 2015. Rupert explained that he backs the tassels on this shoe in a stiff material, so that even after a lot of wear, the tassels retain their shape and don’t twist or curl up at the ends. I love that he puts that much thought into a tassel! All of his shoes are beautifully crafted (perhaps because he owns a controlling stake in the factory in Italy where his shoes are made). Like my other Rupert Sanderson shoes, these fringed ones are well balanced and amazingly comfortable, even with a high heel. In fact, I have a pair of platform Mary Janes from several (6? 7?) years ago; they are so comfortable that if I have an event to go to where I’ll be standing most of the time, I always wear these shoes, and just work the rest of my outfit around them.
I wore them so much that I bought a similar design in red suede when they went on sale.
If I’m wearing these, I know I’ll enjoy my evening rather than agonizing over my feet. My husband used to say “Are you sure you want to wear those shoes since we’ll be walking to the restaurant?” Now he knows these are my go-to comfort shoes for nights out, despite looking quite the opposite. I don’t know how they work, but honestly, they are genuinely comfortable, I swear to Valentino. No one ever believes me, so I make friends try them on to see for themselves. I almost wore the red suede ones to my wedding, because I knew I be standing up in them for hours!
He’s had an interesting journey, Rupert Sanderson (the man, not the shoes, although I’m sure the shoes have too… I know mine have!). And he’s such a charming and likeable person as well. Rather than replicate his very interesting story here, have a quick read of this from his website. He is extremely passionate about designing shoes and has enjoyed great success with them; they’re seen on celebrities and in magazine editorials all over the world. The Rupert Sanderson range each season is not enormous, but still manages to have a lot of variety. He seems to understand that women are multifaceted in their style needs; we need some wow shoes, some useful shoes, some edgy shoes, some boots, and some flats for running around… but all of his shoes have a unique style and, mercifully, a great deal of comfort. The older I get, the more important the comfort factor is, but I refuse to sacrifice style! Hence, my black pointy-toed flats from above. He’s said in interviews that he designs shoes for “women of substance” who don’t define themselves entirely by what they wear, which is a lovely way of expressing that the woman wears the shoes, rather than the shoes wearing the woman.
P.S. When Rupert Sanderson has a sale, get in quick. They don’t mess around with any 15% off nonsense, they go straight to 40-60% off. Below is a bit of Rupert Sanderson shoe porn, with an example of each category that I find need, and here is his website if you’d like to go explore.