Finding all the pretty things…
Sourcing materials for Shoe Envy is not an easy job.
Particularly when I hit up our resourceful materials sleuth with questions like, “Can you get me something in a blue-ringed octopus print?”
Yes, obnoxiously enough I have asked her that! One night I was watching a TV show about the most deadly creatures on the planet and I thought, “Wow, blue-ringed octopuses are really stunning…!”
Sadly, nobody makes it, which is crazy because they really are very pretty.
Heather Potter, owner and designer at Shoe Envy
Exclusive one-off designs
The most annoying thing about finding a really beautiful material is knowing I can only use it once.
Materials are all produced seasonally in limited runs; so I’ll get something awesome and everyone will love it so much it’ll sell out – and then I can never get it again. And believe me, if I’ve got a style that’s selling out, I want to get it again!
But this is why every range I design at Shoe Envy is a genuine one-off. I can never make it again because those materials just don’t exist.
On the one hand, this can be upsetting if you miss out on a style you really, really wanted, because it means we’re not going to re-stock it.
But on the other hand, it means every new range is completely unique. So when you have a Shoe Envy shoe in your collection, you know you’re one of only a handful of people in the world who has that style. (And, of course, I will get more awesome things next time…)
Feel the quality
When I’m designing shoes, I find inspiration in all sorts of unusual places and the hardest part is always turning the vision in my mind into a beautiful shoe that looks as gorgeous and elegant in real life as it did in my mind.
Finding the right materials is absolutely critical. Prints need to look well-crafted with good colour selection.
If the material itself is embossed, the embossing needs to be consistent and high quality so it has that nice expensive feel when you touch it.
Where materials are paying homage to animal prints or textures like python and crocodile, it’s absolutely essential that they look natural and realistic. I would never use real croc because everyone knows I have a soft spot for cold-blooded creatures but if you’re going to fake it, you’ve got to nail it!
That means searching through hundreds of swatches to find the one that is beautifully made with a great colour selection and a really well-crafted finish.
No second chances
The most common question I get asked at Shoe Envy is, “Will you be getting more of my size in this style…?”
And now you know why the answer is always no.
So next time you’re admiring a Shoe Envy design and thinking, “I like that one. I might get it later…” Don’t wait too long if you really love it because you really only get one chance.
But don’t worry, I love shoe shopping as much as the next person so I’m always trawling nature for inspiration for the next fabulous range – whether it’s blue-ringed octopus, giraffe or dalmation eel…