When British-born, New-York based fashion stylist and consultant, Tabitha Simmons, revealed she was launching an eponymous footwear line, few doubted she could, literally, put a foot wrong. After custom-making fancy one-of-a-kind footwear at New York’s East Village Shoe Repair resembling painters stilts and rocking horses for fashion photoshoots, it came as no surprise that Simmons would more than deliver with an eclectic debut collection of eminently wearable “something for everyone” shoes for Autumn/Winter09.
Running the gamut from leather and suede cowboy-inspired boots, stiletto’s and classic Mary-jane’s to loafer wedges and satin sandals in brights and muted tones, Simmons’ set out to create shoes that not only cater to women of all tastes, but women with tastes that vary daily. “Sometimes I want to be sexy and other times feminine – or some days I will wake up and want to dress in quite a masculine way. So, I wanted my shoes to reflect this,” explains Simmons. “The philosophy behind my label is ‘personal style’ – to create shoes that are feminine with personality.”
The fashion editor and one-time model, and wife of influential photographer Craig McDean (with whom she regularly collaborates), confesses she was spurred to design footwear because of a lingering shoe obsession. “I have a large shoe collection,” says Simmons, admitting she owns over 400 pairs. “They always update an outfit, and are the one thing I really buy, beg or steal from designers,” she continues. “Shoes are something I have always been passionate about and it seemed a natural step to create my own line. When it comes to creating, it's about being honest and making it come from the heart.”
The collection, featuring couture detailing and expert craftsmanship by cobblers in the Veneto region of Italy, was no easy feat to create. With equal attention paid to ergonomics and aesthetics, Simmons swift introduction to the design side of fashion has been an eye-opener, “It made me realise how hard designers actually work!”
Tabitha Simmons debut collection is available online through www.netaporter.com and www.tabithasimmons.com