Rachel says: The Rachel Simpson brand began in 2008 with a simple vision: to create a collection of shoes which looked bespoke and were made in the traditional way but that were at an affordable price point for a luxury product.
Previously I’d handmade bespoke shoes in my own workshop whilst also working as a freelance designer for a number of high street brands, and this is when I spotted a huge gap in the bridal shoe market. At the time bridal shoes were either very traditional, satin numbers you’d never consider wearing again or high-end Jimmy Choos, which were right at the other end of the scale with nothing much in between.
We are well-known for our vintage inspired shoes, instantly recognisable as Rachel Simpson due to my unique design style combined with our signature colour palette and beautiful materials.
Within our collections you can see a lot of art deco motifs, as well as typically 1920s and 1930s silhouettes which include our signature T-bars!
We find that a Rachel Simpson bride is often looking for something a little bit different and shoes that they can wear again beyond the big day. Comfort is first and foremost, but our brides know that doesn’t mean they have to compromise on style – it’s all about beautifully designed wear-ability.
Brand integrity is definitely something that appeals to our brides too; they know they can trust in the brand as we as we take them on the full journey of their footwear, so they know how we designed them, who made them and where.
The new Spring/Summer collection is one I’m particularly proud of as I think it sees a welcome return to our exclusive signature style. I was hugely inspired by a trip to Paris last year- a city dripping in art deco detail! This has really given the collection a distinctly glamorous edge, with an air of ‘grown up’ vintage which injects more of a 1930s vibe than 1920s.
There are eight new shoes in the collection, and each one feels like a work of art, encapsulating that 1930s influence with beautiful scalloped detailing and art deco motifs. Soft, coloured suede pieces are edged with metallic gold to create an iconic shell pattern, a recurring theme throughout the collection.
In addition to the brand’s signature colour palette of blush, metallics, pretty neutrals and mint, we’ve introduced a stunning new dusky blue to the Spring Summer collection which I love and was the first person to wear this gorgeous hue at my wedding last year.
I’m often asked where we get our inspiration from, and so much of it comes from our brides. We’re always listening to their ideas and suggestions on social media, and this much-valued feedback definitely influences future collections, particularly in terms of new shapes and colours. For example, in this new collection we’ve introduced some wider heel shapes for those who have requested a little more support.
If I had to pick a favourite from the new collection (though tricky) I’d have go for Aurelia, because I absolutely loved the process of designing her. It’s a relatively complex asymmetric design at the front so it took several attempts to get it right, including creating a 3D design to make sure the proportions were perfect. I’m thrilled with the final result and can’t wait to finally wear them!
When shopping for wedding shoes, my advice to brides first and foremost is to enjoy it – such an experience should never be stressful! Secondly, I’d say choose the shoes which you absolutely love, and which feel totally you. I’ve never understood why so many people fall into the trap of asking what shoes a bride should wear – it’s still you, you’re just getting married, so have fun and be true to you.
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