In a moment of madness or divine intervention Rupert Sanderson resigned from a disastrous career in advertising to learn how to make shoes at Cordwainers College in East London. During the summer break of the two year course, Sanderson rode a motorbike to Italy to visit as many shoe factories, tanneries and last makers as he could. In a very short time he was working in Italy firstly for Sergio Rossi and then Bruno Magli. Rupert is very proud to have been able to work with the founders and their families of both these companies before they were bought by larger luxury goods companies – it has stood him in good stead with the close-knit Italian shoe-making community.
Rupert Sanderson founded his eponymous company after returning from working in Italy in 2001. His design philosophy is simply ‘less is more’. Avoiding augmentation and over-dressing the foot, he concentrates on perfecting the line, volume and material to flatter and lengthen the leg which makes women feel sexier. His inspiration comes from the materials themselves: from the sensual curve and silhouettes of the lasts and heels, to the quality and finish of the best leather and fabrics.
By way of reinforcing his design principles, in July 2006 Rupert Sanderson bought a controlling interest in the factory he had been working with since his first collection. The skills and knowhow built up over generations had to be safeguarded to ensure every pair of Rupert Sanderson shoes were the best they could possibly be.
Rupert Sanderson has two London stores located in Mayfair and Knightsbridge and his shoes are available in over 100 department and specialist stores in fashion capitals around the world. In March 2010 Rupert Sanderson opened an Asian flagship store in Central, Hong Kong, followed closely by the opening of his first Paris store and press office located in the Palais Royal.
In 2008 Rupert Sanderson founded Fashion Fringe Shoes with Colin McDowell, with the aim of discovering and nurturing a new range of design talent. Rupert Sanderson was awarded Accessory Designer of The Year at the British Fashion Awards, 2008. Shortly afterwards in February 2009, Rupert Sanderson was also awarded Accessory Designer of The Year at the Elle Style Awards. This award was voted for by the public as well as an industry panel and stands to highlight Rupert’s rise in the fashion world. Since Autumn/Winter 2009, Rupert Sanderson has designed the shoes for Karl Lagerfeld’s main line collection. Rupert Sanderson writes a weekly fashion blog for British Vogue and this can be viewed at www.vogue.co.uk.
To compliment his obsessive passion with the Italian craft of shoe-making, every pair of Rupert Sanderson shoes is named after a Daffodil. How very British…