Thanks Brooke Bobb @ Vogue US
There’s a Shoe for Every City Girl in Sally Singer and Laurence Dacade’s Debut Collaboration
Thanks to Carrie Bradshaw, and now Emily in Paris, you could assume that expensive high heels are the urban-dwelling woman’s only mode of transportation. Yes, New Yorkers are fabulous creatures who love fashion, but they’re also pragmatic and scrappy. At the onset of the pandemic this spring, walking became even more essential to city life, even though New Yorkers have always adored the act of strolling up and down the island. In lieu of Ubers, taxis, and subways, New York City residents were walking and biking more than ever. The geographic shoe game reflected this too. In March, those Bradshaw-beloved strappy heels went out the window or to the back of the well-stocked closets and comfort became absolutely key. Birkenstocks, Tevas, and Stan Smiths have ruled for the last several months but now, it’s time to get back to some notion of style-meets-substance and thankfully, one former Vogue editor and creative director and her longtime friend, a shoe designer, have the answer.
Sally Singer and Laurence Dacade have designed a capsule collection of five footwear styles that reflect Singer’s well-informed idea of the quintessential New York City shoe. The collaboration is part of an ongoing project that the Paris-based Dacade—who also designs shoes for Chanel in addition to helming her eponymous line—is launching, called One City Five Essentials, in which she will pair up with a woman from a different urban area to create a lineup of shoes that befits real life in each place. The New York collection is designed to marry practicality with beauty and includes a satin boudoir mule with a sculptural wedge heel; a kitten-style, conical heel loafer; a chunky, black leather winter boot that is corseted up the back of the ankle; a minimalist, velvet T-strap sandal; and a silver-studded, lace-up shoe with a thick, platform sole. The capsule is available for preorder beginning today on Dacade’s website and will be sold through October 14 for delivery in late February. There will also be a preorder from October 15 through October 30, delivering in late March.
Each design has a distinct, poetic meaning. For example, the sandal, according to Singer, is a “pedicure shoe,” something to wear after getting your toes done and biking home, a “perfect minimalist sandal that doesn’t look disposable.” The boudoir shoe is inspired by two of her favorite pairs of vintage evening shoes and is meant to “function as a decorative object as well, something that will look great in your bike basket.” Even the chunky boot is soft, in a way, thanks to the corseted ankle that gives a more elegant feel to the stompers. The footwear reflects Singer’s effortlessly cool and idiosyncratic personal style, which Dacade has long admired. As the designer explains, “I thought a lot about when Sally was living in the Chelsea Hotel among all of the artists and riding her bike everywhere. For me, her way of life is like a dream and so inspiring. I think she has a special world.” She also adds that, on another practical note, “In New York you wake up in the morning and you’re so happy to put on a pair of shoes that will take you through to wherever you’re going at night.” All of the shoes in the collection are made with comfortable insoles and no heels or platforms are over three inches, so they can be worn for long walks or bike rides.
Although the designs are inspired by the fast-paced life in New York, Singer admits that since the onset of the pandemic, she’s come to view the collection in a bit of a different light. “I’ve come to see them as shoes that seem both essential and correctly decadent in a way, and not only for someone who lives in New York but for anyone who travels by foot and by bike and wants to have footwear that is both exceedingly fashionable and romantic but also exceedingly comfortable, defiantly comfortable.” Singer adds that she believes that “there are people who are going to say spiky shoes are coming back and it’s all going to return to what it was before the pandemic, but I don’t know about that.” She says that personally, she doesn’t want to wear uncomfortable shoes again, nor does she only want to wear sneakers or Tevas or Birkenstocks. “That kind of life in which the car is waiting outside and there’s a grand party you’re going to enter into and no one will see you hobble out later, that’s over,” she says. “We’re living outside and you’ve got to be able to be on the move and be comfortable doing it. But, that doesn’t mean that you won’t want the height of a platform or the drama of a wedge or something pretty on your feet. Utility can be done in a very romantic way and I do think these shoes are extremely, unabashedly romantic. Even in their heaviest manifestations, they’re very feminine.”