Saturday, May 29, 2010


My latest shoe crush is on the entire HWilliams spring/summer 2010 collection. I've pre-ordered a couple pairs and cannot wait for them to arrive. I have three pairs from last fall/winter (did I mention that it's a serious shoe crush?), and I wear them all the time... in the meantime I'll be waiting by the mailbox for my sandals to get here!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Start of Summer

Summer has finally arrived in Italy, and it's hot, hot, hot outside. Even though I wear sandals all year round, this jump in the temperature has got me thinking about new ways to show off my pedicure...


Yesterday saw the first sample of the most fantastically boudoir mule from the new collection of a very special you-know-who:
black rhinestones, mink trim, and lace!

I can't wait for a pair to "fall" off the production a 37 please!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Spotting Defects - Heels

During production defective shoes are often mandato avanti (sent forward on the production line) instead of being repaired because fixing a defective shoe is time consuming and expensive. When a factory has a certain number of shoes to make per day, there is no time to send a shoe back to step one to fix a defect or error. Luckily, most of these errors are easy to spot in the store before you purchase a less-than-perfect shoe. Every week I will give you tips on how to spot these imperfections.

Heel-placement can either ruin or redeem a shoe: a heel two millimeters too far forward or backward, and the shoe will not stand properly. It will not be well balanced and will feel awkward to wear. If you look at the shoe from the side, the heel should be parallel to the direction of the weight placed on the heel and sit squarely under the spot where this weight is placed.

Seen from behind, the two heels should be of the same height and should stand straight and not lean to either side. (The shoe on the right is slightly tilted outwards.)

A heel that squeaks or moves when you walk is not tightly nailed into the insole. While a squeaky heel can sometimes be fixed by a shoe repairman, it's best not to buy a shoe with any heel problems. High heels are already uncomfortable; save yourself a bit of pain and take the time to find a shoe with a properly affixed heel.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Ciao and benvenuto, but before we begin...

...let me introduce myself. I am a 25-year old American girl living in Italy. I grew up in California, have a BFA in art and design, and have studied at Cordwainers College in London (where Jimmy Choo, Emma Hope, and Olivia Morris studied) and Ars Sutoria in Milano (a technical school with such graduates as Tiffany Tuttle of LD Tuttle and Heather Williams of HWilliams). I have lived in Italy for the past 2+ years and work in a shoe factory in northern Italy where I work on patterns for luxury women's footwear lines. I am a modellista, or "pattern maker." A pattern maker, in case you do not know, takes the drawing made by the designer, re-draws it on the last (the 3D form of the foot over which shoes are made), and creates the pieces (or templates) to be cut in leather and stitched together to make the shoe. I am also a designer and a purchaser of luxury shoes, so I have a 360 degree view of the footwear world. I will be using this blog to share some of my knowledge with you all. I will write to you about new designers, shoe production, shoe fitting, buying shoes, and repair and upkeep of your shoes, as well as sharing with you some of my own designs and inspiration.

Please feel free to leave comments, questions, and suggestions at the end of my posts. You can also email me your questions at

Here are a few shoes I've worked on and seen pass through the factory in the past two years...
top: , ;
middle: , , ,
bottom: , ,

With that, let's get started...