Q&A with Rachel Simpson

We sit down with Rachel from Rachel Simpson Shoes, and ask about her the inspirations when designing the perfect wedding shoe…

What inspired you to begin designing wedding shoes?

When I first graduated I set up my own footwear design business. Alongside working as a freelance designer I also kept up the shoemaking side of things, and created handmade shoes for individual customers. Many of the commissions I received were for wedding shoes, which made me realise there was a gap in the market… and the rest as they say, is history.

How do you go about designing a wedding shoe?

In much the same way as designing any shoe I suppose you think about who you’re designing for, how they want to feel, what they need from a shoe. I take a lot of inspiration from the elegance of the twenties through to the forties, but also combine this with current trends from both fashion and bridal. And I always start with good old fashioned pencil and paper before moving onto CADS – you can’t beat it when ideas are flowing!

What is the inspiration behind your latest collection?

At the moment I’m loving the trend for mixed metallic – I love that you no longer have to be a ‘gold’ or ‘silver’ person, but can mix it all up to create a really lux look. This also extends to one of my personal obsessions, rose gold, which we’ve incorporated into the collection alongside some gorgeous blush toned ivory leather and suede. Embellishment is also a key feature of the current collection, adding some old fashioned glamour to the mix!

What is the best part of your job?

The variety it brings and the people I meet along the way. One day I might be talking to a bride about her wedding, the next having a technical meeting with our web developers, before jumping on a plane the next to visit our factory in Spain. There’s no such thing as a typical day!

If you could design a wedding shoe for anyone, who would it be?

One of the very first pairs of shoes I handmade were for my sister when she got married. She’s a bigger inspiration to me than any celebrity, so that was pretty special.

Do you have a favourite style of shoe?

There is something sublime about a beautifully cut, well made court shoe. Finding the right balance between the perfect lace, cut, heel and material is a real art, and when it works it brings magic to the phrase ‘less is more.’

If you could describe your collection in only three words, what would they be?

Elegant, unique, wearable.

What advice would you give a bride-to-be when choosing her wedding shoes?

Choose shoes which make you feel amazing when you look down at your feet. It sounds obvious, but don’t fall in to the trap of thinking what shoes you ‘should’ wear, as ‘A Bride’. You’re still you, in an amazing frock, so make sure your shoes compliment that, and are true to your personality.

Oh, and don’t stress – at the end of the day this is still shoe shopping ladies…