I remember when I bought my first designer shoes. It was in 1994, a pair of classic Ferragamo bow pump shoes in navy. The jewellery department (in Harrods where I worked) had won the Good Housekeeping award that year and we were given a £50 voucher and a Thierry Mugler bottle of perfume. I returned the perfume for a £50 credit voucher and headed to the Ferragamo section on the first floor with £100 vouchers and bought a pair of bow courts.
When I got home that day, my older sister said I’d spent too much on a pair of shoes and then showed me a pair of shoes she bought from John Lewis for £20. I didn’t for one sec regret my buy. I wore those shoes over and over and over again and they always looked good. They outlasted her nice £20 John Lewis shoes and that’s why I bought them.
Cost per wear.
I don’t buy goods for the name alone. I buy goods for the quality. Starting my working life in luxury retail thought me something about quality. Not every heavy price tag is good quality. When I pick up any product, the first thing I look at is how the the product is made. The quality and workmanship must justify the price. My focus is usually on how long the item will last and how many wears or how much use I’ll get from that item. Let’s just say, my £100 Ferragamo shoes ended up being cheaper than her £20 John Lewis pair.
That same design of Ferragamo shoes retail for £445 today.
The prices of shoes have sky rocked since then. With an average pair of designer shoes going for around £495. I’m one of those people who hates buying stuff full price because I know the sale prices are closer to the actual value of the item. But…. I understand (having owned a shop before) that retailers have high operating costs. At the moment, there is nothing out there that I need or must have, and if it’s a brand that will be having a sale, I’m patient.
In recent years, great footwear brands have popped up to plug in the gap between high street brands and designer brands whose prices are now ridiculously high. The brands I’ve mentioned in this blog are being snapped up by celebrities (think Beyoncé), those in the fashion world and many like me who want a good brand but don’t necessarily want to buy KG, Carvela, Dune, or a £700 pair of Valentino courts.
Founded in 2015 by Luisa Krogmann and Constantin Langholz-Baikousis, Aeyde’s designs are modern, subtle, yet distinctive. Though the team is based in Berlin where the designs are conceived, all Aeyede shoes are manufactured by family owned factories in Italy’s Marche region. I particularly love these silver nappy leather sandals.
Founded in 2016 by twins Valentina and Sabina, and their best friend Denitsa, By Far shoes and bags are made from the finest materials with comfort in mind. By Far has a growing list of list of high profile fans. The brand seems to have exploded the moment the first collection was launched, soon becoming a social media success and celebrity favourite. If you’re looking for great quality contemporary shoes with a vintage twist, this is a must check.
I love L.A. based Staud!
Though this is a blog about shoes, Staud have some really nice clothes! Their clothes make me want to fly to the states. Staud bags and shoes can be found in Selfridges, Harrods, Harvey Nichols and online stores like Net-A-Porter. Founded in 2015 by Sarah Staudinger and George Augusto, Staud aims to empower women by making high fashion more accessible.
The Kat Maconie brand is a another luxury brand that is making waves.If you’re looking for bold, bright, unusual and unique luxury shoes, then head to Kat Maconie. K M’s signature style is bold block heels for the strong woman who isn’t afraid to stand out. This British brand uses high quality leathers and embellishments to make shoes that is bound to get you noticed.
British luxury brand Sophia Webster debuted its first collection in 2013 and since then, the brand has won a few prestigious fashion awards and become international renowned. SW shoes are bold, fun yet feminine and sophisticated. I particularly love the Nicole sandals (not shown), so much so, at the moment, I have it in 3 colours.