If there were a time to venture to Berkeley, it would be now. 1809B Fourth Street to be exact. Amidst the promenade, lives sustainable clothing and accessory boutique, Convert. They do innovative eco things and the latest involves LA-based shoe designer Jeffrey Campbell and dead-stock fabrics.
From humble cobbler to internationally renowned designer, Franco Sarto has come a long way since he began working at a shoe factory at the age of 14. His roots as a shoemaker in Dolo, Italy have given Sarto the technical background to create footwear that is lasting, wearable, and versatile. Recently, Sarto made an appearance at Nordstorm in the Westfield San Francisco Centre to promote his new self-titled spring collection. After meeting with devoted fans and handing out autographed sketches, Sarto (and his translator) sat down with us to talk about his methods, inspirations, and his appreciation of California wine.
Shoemaker extraordinaire Manolo Blahnik, described simply as the greatest shoe designer of all time by Vogue’s Anna Wintour, recently made a rare appearance at Neiman Marcus San Francisco. One of many local fans, Lillian Kwock—who stood near the front of the line at the department store's exclusive event—said, “I did a count last week. I have 39 pairs, not including these two that I just bought."
In town to promote his new book, Manolo’s New Shoes (released October 12), a follow-up to 2003's Manolo Blahnik Drawings, the famous designer chatted with journalists while the shoe salon buzzed with excitement and models floated around carrying platters adorned with snakeskin, pointed-toed kitten heels. In brief, here's what Mr. Blahnik had to say.
If the shoe fits, wear it, they say. We’d wager a more important factor is how that shoe looks. But that line of thinking can lead to crippling outcomes – and not just for your toes.
For Stephanie Kim, a fascination with fabulous footwear almost jeopardized the contents of her kitchen cabinets.
“My wardrobe has always been very simple. My obsession has always been shoes,” says the SoMa-based corporate attorney, who briefly considered tossing what lay within her cupboards to eek out more storage for her ever-growing shoe collection, now topping 200 pairs.
Footwear is, perhaps, the only realm of women’s fashion where those seeking the smallest sizes perpetually come up short-handed. In any other category, the woman seeking the smaller size will – in most stores, at least – have more options than her larger counterparts. But when it comes to shoes, the tiniest toes face the toughest challenge. And according to Suzette Standring of The Huffington Post, the problem is only getting worse.
Custom-painted shoes have long been style mainstays among fashion-forward sneakerheads, but lately we’ve been noticing them pop up everywhere from Derek Holbrook’s feet during an exclusive San Francisco society luncheon to online e-tailer Zazzle.
If the idea of owning one-of-a-kind kicks puts a spring in your step, here’s how to get your toes into a pair:
After more than 30 years in the biz, Manolo Blahnik has accumulated a pop culture status and fan base unmatched by most designers. His devoted clients have been rumored to go to extremes to pay homage to their Manolo collections—from designating entire rooms in their homes for Blahnik shoe storage to ordering his spendy heels by the dozens. So it was no surprise that the shoe guru’s recent visit to San Francisco attracted a swarm of Blahnik groupies for a mid-day appearance and signing of their coffee table tomes Blahnik by Boman [$55, Chronicle Books] at Neiman Marcus.