shoes that make you go oooooo

I was researching something today (it was of course shoe related) and came across this place – http://icanmakeshoes.com/. They run courses on various elements of shoe making, such as ‘start your future in footwear’ to ‘ballet pumps for beginners’  with the courses ranging in length from half a day to three days. Prices start at £75 for a half day course and go up to £3200 for a 10 day long master class in luxury footwear.

From the feedback they get it seems that a lot of people do their courses as precursors to foundation courses in similar subjects, although I bet there are a few women who attend who are just after the perfect shoe and believe they are the only ones who can make them.

I got quite excited and began to dream up the shoes I would design, only to find that they only have facilities to make up to 9.5. But still, a great idea and as far as I know, the only other place other than Cordwainers who offer shoe design courses.

For those of us who have got some spare money to spend on frivolities such as the ultimate, custom designed shoe without the hassle of making it yourself, there is Shoes of Prey – a frankly almost pornographic experience for someone like me, where you pick your style, fabric, heel everything – and they make them for you.

It’s a fabulous website and a fabulous idea (one of those ideas you wish you’d had). It’s actually also somewhere where you can mull over ideas you have about the shoes that you want, playing with different colours etc, before you actually hunt those shoes down on the high street. The main asset for me of course is that their sizes range from UK2.5 – 15!

This, coupled with the fact they have a great range of colours and materials and styles, mean that I fully intend to design a pair of shoes for myself in the not too distant future. A pair of heels would cost about £150 for standard designs

Another design and order place is Upper Street Shoes, who I’ve mentioned before, but are worth mentioning again – they do a similar thing to Shoes of Prey, even the prices seem similar (apologies if they have a totally different USP but to the casual eye it looks like a similar set up).

What sets them apart is the competition they run every Tuesday. Tweet them a picture of the shoes you’re wearing that day and if the judges deem them worthy, they grant you free licence to design your own pair. A seriously good reason to think about your footwear every Tuesday.

I’m not the first person to blog about these companies, Kat Brown has a whole section dedicated to where to buy/make/design bigger shoes on her blog, www.exoticmaypole.com (the link to the exact post here http://www.domesticsluttery.com/2012/04/ultimate-size-9-13-shoe-guide.html)

Dare I suggest that this grey weather won’t last, because it is actually June and so, summer, which means that even if we don’t have blazing hot sunshine every day, we are likely to want to wear toeless shoes? And you must be thinking about your holidays, walking on the beach or strolling through ancient cobbled alleyways, or meandering round a garden (I could go on). Either way, these wedged espadrille really will work all ways and with all things.

Montego bay one profile small

For now they are for sale via my eBay store but within the next 48 hours I will be going live with my own website – a fitting platform (I hope) for these particular shoes.

I am also moving forward with my business model and have adjusted it slightly to accommodate the needs of my customers and the limitations being a small business. Head to the new website in a day or so for more details.

Feedback as ever is welcomed. Thanks for reading

 

www.shoesofprey.co.uk

www.upperstreet.com

www.domesticsluttery.co.uk

http://www.exoticmaypole.com

 

 

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To Lita or not to Lita

I saw an interesting piece in the papers yesterday about Jeffrey Campbells’ ‘Lita’ boots. JC supplies Barefoot Tess with a few selected shoes (including Lita)  in larger sizes especially for their site. The Lita boot is not my cup of tea, but they are clearly popular as they have now been produced in 164 colours, selling over 160,000 pairs. Most people like them because they have a built in platform, which boosts height without sacrificing comfort, but as a tall women, I don’t find platforms particularly appealing.

 

The ‘Lita’ have divided opinion throughout the fashion world, with some fashion insiders citing them as being as ugly as UGGs (ugly indeed) whilst fashion bloggers worth their salt are constantly being photographed in them and indeed blogging about them.

 

Jeffery Campbell can do no wrong in my eyes, providing, as he does, some style choice for ladies with larger feet, but I do wonder about the Lita boots. The interesting thing about them is that because they are available in larger sizes, they must be one of the few shoes which are non-divisive, in other words, enable women’s style to be determined by their choice, not their size. Unfortunately, other shoes which hold this badge are UGGS, Crocs and Birkenstocks. Not exactly style icons, in my eyes.

 

The question of whether tall women should wear platforms is of course a personal one. Luckily for me, I married a guy who is 6”7 so adding to my 5”11 height is not a problem, should I choose too. Truthfully, I wonder at tall women who wear big heels but I look at them with envy – are they prouder of their height than me? Should I want to flaunt it more? Either way, I don’t like the look of the ‘Lita’ boots which is in no small part  due to their platform.Image

Whilst on the subject of designers producing shoes for larger feet, Steve Madden is another Stateside designer who makes some of his more popular designs in larger sizes, specially for Barefoot Tess. Both Steve Madden and Jeffrey Campbell are big names in the States, in a way that individual British high street designers have yet to become. I’m hoping that is going to change, especially with retailers such as Upper Street Shoe, where you can design your own heels and who run a 9&10 club, celebrating us ladies with larger feet. To be able to design my own pair of heels, in my size, does feel like a total dream. And it will be, until I can afford the rather hefty price tag which goes hand in hand with custom made shoes.

Until that day, I’m sticking to my trusty Camdens, which I wore out dancing on Saturday night with my new trousers from Baujken – the zip on the jeans and studs on the shoes felt suitably rock and roll.ImageImage

For those of you who haven’t gathered, I’m selling Camden via eBay, here http://bit.ly/WByPw2 – in size 9 & 10 as well as some rather lovely smoking slippers, in orange and leopard print, http://bit.ly/WBHSgh

Camden has a 3” cone heel, which for me, is heel a plenty.

Power to any tall women wearing more than that!

 

The original article about the ‘Lita’ here http://bit.ly/XdAqqP

Link to Upper street shoes here http://www.upperstreet.com/

Photo of Ponte Jeans taken from Baukjen site – http://www.isabellaoliver.com/baukjen/uk