Here’s a real pinch me moment, that I’ve been holding under my hat for about six months now. Trust me when I say that hasn’t been easy. Last year, I went into Marks & Spencer’s headquarters in London, having been asked to take part in a rather special project. I was asked to design, with the footwear team, my dream spring/summer shoe. Now, I’ll be completely honest and upfront and tell you I’ve never imagined designing a shoe. That isn’t to say I don’t absolutely adore shoes, I just never fancied myself much of a shoe designer. But, the moment I was asked, I knew immediately what I wanted to do. I think THAT was the most unexpected result out of all of this. All along, there was a shoe design sitting in the back of my head just waiting to be born. Who knew?
So, the day came for me to meet with the team at M&S and we had mapped out a few hours to put together the design. However, after only fifteen mins sitting with the girls, we had worked out the heel, the straps, the material and the jewellery. The only problem – where would we find a lobster? And yes, that is a lobster. Why a lobster, you may well be asking? Well, if you’ve been following along with FFG for the past decade, you’ll know there are a few reasons I am obsessed with lobsters. First and foremost, I spent every summer of my life in the USA on the coast of Maine with my family. Yup, I was a preppy New Englander for at least a quarter of the year, every year, and we take our lobsters pretty seriously. They aren’t just for eating though. They also play a big part in fashion, featuring on everything from embroidered trousers to fitted sweaters. As I buy absolutely everything in fashion that features a lobster, this seemed like a no brainer. Had to be done.
As for the mock croc, well, that plays tribute to another part of the world I’m from – South Carolina. This is a loose reference, so follow along, if you will. At home in the Low Country, alligators are like second pets. Alright, you wouldn’t want them as a pet really, but they do roam all over the island. So I loved the idea of using crocodile (I know it’s not the same as alligator… before you all come out for that) as a material to showcase my southern roots.
In my mind, this shoe is the sandal I’ve always been missing in my closet and that was really the whole point in designing it – to bring about a sandal/shoe that everyone can love, no matter where they are from. But, personally speaking, I love that this design not only showcases pieces of home, it truly showcases my own personal style. I reckon, after knowing me as long as you have, you would have easily been able to pick this out as my design if this pair was sitting alongside all the other collaborators’ designs. While I hate being obvious, I do love the classics… and I hope that comes across here.
Now, let’s talk details with the sandal itself. First of all, it comes in at a very reasonable price of £35 for the pair. It also will be sold in sizes up to a UK9/43/US11. I am hoping this means a lot more of us will be able to purchase the sandal. I wouldn’t have been able to wear it myself had they not extended the sizes. As for timing, you can expect to see the shoe drop online in March. I’ll let you know on social media when I have an exact date. If you are shipping to the UK, just be ready to shop as normal. However, if you are in the USA and hoping to get your hands on the product, you will need to shop the UK site to do so. Again, don’t worry… I’ll supply all links on the day the sandals go live. Even I’m going to be online trying to grab a few pairs to give relatives for Christmas. So, let’s hope they’ve ordered enough!
As always, guys, thank you for all your amazing support! I’m hoping one day this will all sink in and feel real. For right now, I am having a bit of an out of body experience about the whole thing.
This shoe is a collaboration between Fashion Foie Gras and Marks & Spencer.