Sophie Gittins knew she wanted to be a shoe designer from an early age. She had her first big break when she was selected as a finalist of Fashion Fringe Shoes by a panel of judges that included industry legends like Manolo Blanik, Colin McDowell and Rupert Sanderson. This affirmation inspired her to create her label, Sophie Gittins, in 2009. This week's Shoes Engagement Calendar sheds light on a talented British designer who took the most direct path to launching her career.
The name Sophie Gittins has become synonymous with “classic yet contemporary feminine” shoes. With inspiration stemming from the artwork of Louise Dahl-Wolfe and F.C.B. Cadell, it’s no surprise that Gittins shoes come in clean, vibrant colors and radiate “timeless luxury.” Case in point, the vibrant stiletto slingbacks appearing in the calendar that somehow manage to evoke the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘80s, while being cutting edge and futuristic in their design.
A devotee of Italian technique and tradition, Sophie never sacrifices quality, shining a keen eye on the minutest of details. Materials match precision, and her shoes are made with only the finest leathers and silks.
Catherine Nieto, the Fashion Editor of Grazia magazine, has said of Gittins’ shoes: “Under-the-radar Brit shoe designer Sophie Gittins is the go-to for sexy, grown up shoes with a point of difference.”
Gittins also wears the hat of Creative Consultant for design briefs, runway collections and commission-based work. So if you’ve got the cash and want Gittins to help design your dream shoes, you might just be able to make dream reality.
The Sophie Gittins permanent collection is filled with versatile mainstays for every woman’s shoe closet that have been revamped and upgraded with Sophie’s style and impeccable design. Throughout, Gittin’s use of color is judicious and wise. The hues never overwhelm. Pumps that are wardrobe workhouses come in sultry dark shades, plus leopard print. The Doric Wedges hearken to the inspiration for their name: like the classic variation on the column, their appeal lies in pure simplicity.
Our favorite style for a night out dancing or lounging upon a posh rooftop patio is the Orient, which comes in several varieties. A cross between sandal and pump, this shoe’s structure comes from arches arranged around the sole that almost evoke an Art Deco stained glass piece. In gold, pale blue and white, the Orient is pretty much guaranteed to win you over.
Her 2013 Fall-Winter Collection featured slightly edgier design than the permanent line. A heeled black glitter sandal features a soft pink ombre bow over the toe. While lace is usually reserved for pantyhose and lingerie, in the Loren, it’s affixed to the black silk of the shoe.
Sophie Gittins is one of the few designers that creates shoes with across-the-board appeal. From fulfilling basic shoe needs, to satiating a classy girl’s desire for a new elegant pair to add to her rotation, to dazzling the haute couture hound with modern style, the Sophie Gittins line meets every challenge with finesse.