As a designer, it’s incredibly hard to let things go, particularly when it comes to the creation of a product. Quality of construction, ethical manufacturing practices, attention to detail - these are the tenets we pride ourselves on, and I never thought I’d allow for anything we sell to be created outside of our own four walls. Until I wore a pair of these shoes. I was given a pair of handcrafted boots as a gift, and after a week of wearing them nonstop, I knew it was the shoe for our brand. Everything I try to accomplish with clothing, these shoes have it. Versatility, utter simplicity, practicality, beauty, and comfort. The slim, flattering fit, lack of hardware, just-right wooden heel, soft leather sole, and buttery glove-soft feeling on my foot - they even fold down to virtually flat for packing, making them an ideal travel shoe. This is Elizabeth Suzann in a shoe.
After lengthy consideration about carrying an out-of-house product, I decided that recognizing the work of someone else as great could be just as valuable as creating something great. I also knew that if we were going to introduce shoes at all, I wanted them to be ones that were expertly made and that inspired passion in me. I tracked down the maker of the gifted pair of boots, and nervously asked if she had any interest in producing a limited shoe collection for us. The more I learned about her process, the more natural of a fit the relationship felt. We worked with Faye to get the design just right - perfecting the sole, heel height, and finish - and settled on a simple boot and flat, in two exclusive, beautiful leathers.
These shoes are all produced one pair at a time by hand in a beautiful, airy Barcelona workshop. She learned the trade in Spain, and she worked alongside her teacher and apprentice this summer to create the collection. The art of traditional shoe-making is far more captivating than I could have imagined, and watching the process unfold has been nothing short of inspiring. Each step is carefully thought out and executed skillfully by hand. From selection of the leathers, stretching on the last, hand nailing the sole, to polishing the wood heel - by the time a pair is complete, I can’t help but feel it’s taken on a little bit of the soul of the hands that made it.
I believe that what goes into the creation of an object is just as important as the finished object itself. That concept is a driving force behind our brand, and I couldn’t be more honored to sell shoes that are made with the same care and responsibility we take in-house with our garments. I’m incredibly proud of this shoe collection and the artisans behind bringing it to life, and I hope you enjoy seeing the process as much as we did.
The full collection will be available online September 21st in highly limited quantities.