I met Di a some months ago at the Rainbow Club event – she is the head of design for the brand and we had a little chat. We got along really well and stayed in touch! As you all know, I’m a total shoe nutter and I had to find out more about the person behind the creation of such beautiful objects. Di was very gracious and agreed to do an interview, which I am sure will be a fun read as well as informative for anyone wanting to work in shoe design.
1 – when did you fall in love with shoes, do you remember any particular event?
2 – How long have you been designing shoes for?
I did my degree in fashion and textiles and for my final project I chose to make shoes, after doing work placements with Emma Hope and Jimmy Choo. On finishing college I set up my own business and learned the rest of my trade the hard way!
3 – What has been the most interesting project you’ve been involved with?
4- Which are your favourite shoes ever?
They have to be my little red patent shoes, I don’t have them any more but I can still picture them in their box as if it were yesterday and they were the start of it all.
5 – Which is your current favourite pair of shoes?
I have a pair of pale pink nubuck shoes with delicate ankle straps and lovely little camellias on the front, they’re called ‘Sugar Plum’ from the Hassall collection, and look just as great with a pair of jeans, flowery summer dress or even a wedding dress!
6 – Tell our readers a little bit about your career – how did you get into shoe design?
At college I did work placements with Emma Hope and Jimmy Choo and that was it, I knew there was nothing else for me. After that I did a course for graduates starting their own businesses and then set up a studio in London. I had to learn a lot along the way and spent time in shoe factories and with hand shoe makers learning whatever I could along the way. It’s not always been easy, but I’ve never wanted to do anything else, and I still love it just as much today.
7 – What advice would you give to anyone wanting to work in the same area?
8 – what advice would you give to your younger self?
Primarily to have more faith in myself, I always thought everyone else was much more talented than me and as a result I didn’t always make the most of the opportunities that came my way.
I’d also tell myself not to be in such a hurry! I always expected everything to happen overnight, and as a result made my mistakes along the way. If I’d had a little more patience I would probably have done things in a more measured way!
Thank you for your time Diane and I hope to see you again soon!