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Rupert Sanderson

Women, daffodils and fashion collaborations, we caught up with top British designer Rupert Sanderson to give us the low-down on the latest from his studio...

What made you want to be a shoe designer?

I had an unbarring interest in making things and I suppose, it sort of found me in a way because I had an inexplicable interest in it as a craft. When I realised shoe designers existed I had a light bulb moment and thought "well, I could do that", so I made it my mission to learn how to make shoes and start designing shoes as quickly as possible.

How do you come up with the names of your shoes?

Every shoe is named after a daffodil, and it has been that way since the very first collection. It was based on a tiny, little book that I found in a junk-shop, which had 18,000 different names of daffodil. So I think in that instance, I realised it would be a great source of inspiration to give all my shoes names after a beautiful and infinitely varied flower. 36,000 daffodils have now been bred.

I made it my mission to learn how to make shoes and start designing shoes as quickly as possible.

Do you design with a particular person or muse in mind? And if so, does she change each time?

It tends to be more of a collection of women I am thinking about but no one specific person. Being an accessory, you have to have multiple different stories going on in any one collection and it can be a different woman and a different mindset each time.

You've been collaborating with designer Antonio Berardi for a few seasons - what do you love about working in partnership?

Well he's a really genuine article in the sense that he has worked as almost a couture designer but he works in a very independent way and my shoes have been paired with his dresses on the red carpet independently a number of times – so it was written in the stars! We work in true collaboration, I appreciate what he does and he appreciates what I do – it's sort of a conversation which is ongoing so it's great.

We’re experimenting with shoes and different styles all the time - it's a huge, huge world, very noisy with people doing lots of different things.

Who would you love to see in your designs?

I'm not going to be over-confident, we've pretty much had all the great stars wear our shoes at one time or another but I suppose it's getting people to wear them constantly that's a great thing to see. I think Cate Blanchett seems to encapsulate an enormous amount of things that I think are good about the types of women who wear my shoes. She's someone that I like to see wear them and when she does, it's always a good day.

What styles of shoes should every woman have in her wardrobe?

Well, at least five pairs of Rupert Sanderson shoes for every occasion during the day and evening! Apart from that, probably a pair of flip-flops!

What's your favourite ever design?

Impossible to answer! The one I am just about to come up with, is the only answer!

What's next for you?

We’re experimenting with shoes and different styles all the time - it's a huge, huge world, very noisy with people doing lots of different things. So I think the idea of doing something outside of shoes has risks attached because you have to start from scratch – it's not a straightforward step from shoes in terms of men’s or sunglasses or perfumes, you have to almost start again.

Written by Tara Gardner