Laurence Dacade, Alessandra Lanvin, and Tabitha Simmons, the leading ladies of three emerging luxe labels, talk shop at the 2012 FN Footwear Summit."
Laurence Dacade is a renowned Parisian shoe designer.
At 14 years old, Ms. Dacade made her first solo purchase: a pair of red and blue striped ballerina
shoes with an oversized bow. Her love affair with shoes had begun. Ms. Dacade is now the proud
owner of more than 500 pairs of shoes, from flip-flops to alligator boots and everything in
In her designs, Ms. Dacade strives to create shoes for Cinderella, but with a sexy edge and a dose
of French sensibilities. At once elegant and chic, her designs are inspired by the many cultures of
women throughout the world.
Ms. Dacade also finds inspiration in her travels, observing others at airports and train stations,
and drawing creativity from these encounters. She was technically trained at the AFPIC School of
Shoe Design in Paris. Her understanding of construction, as well as her passion for feminine,
sensual shoes, has enabled her to create pieces that are sexy and comfortable at the same time.
Ms. Dacade designs and produces her own namesake collection, in addition to designing
collections for major French houses. She has collaborated with major brands, including Balmain,
Christain Lacroix, Jean Louis Scherrer, Jacques Fath, Karl Lagerfeld, Givenchy and Oscar de la
Ms. Dacadeâ€™s wish is to use her creations to help make women feel more beautiful, sexy,
feminine, and unique.
Alessandra Lanvin inherited her taste for radiance from her Italian father and her Turkish mother.
She has degrees in political science and art history, and worked for several years as a luxury
industry recruiter in Paris.
Ms. Lanvin founded Aperlai, the luxurious accessory line, in 2009. The company is named after the
ancient Lycian city, a 20-minute boat ride from her family home, and a place that holds memories
of many happy summers.
Graphic pure lines, contrasts, asymmetries, and sophistication are the leitmotifs of the Ms.
Lanvinâ€™s style. Vintage pieces, exhibits at the MOMA, and artists such Pollock, Picasso, Mondrian,
and Lovegrove all inspire her creations. Exotic skins, python, stingray, and pony are some of
materials used in her designs. The finest craftsmen located near Venice make the shoes.
From sandals to cuissardes, stilettos to hexagon heels, her designs convey a simple and refined
allure. The special graphic Geisha heel, introduced for the Fall/Winter 2011/12 collection, is an
ode to cubism and already one of Aperlai signatures. Gatsby loafers, inspired by the timeless
androgynous shoes worn by Katherine Hepburn, are best sellers. Ms. Lanvin counts many A-list
celebrities â€“ Gwyneth Paltrow, Blake Lively, Kate Bosworth, Jessica Alba, Ginnifer Goodwin, Naomi
Watts, and Amanda Seyfried â€“ among her fans.
Regina Smith Popp
Regina Smith Popp is Senior Fashion Editor for Footwear News.
After graduating with honors from Kingston University with a degree in set design and film,
Tabitha Simmons began her fashion career as a model.
Soon after, her interests became more focused on fashion styling, which allowed her to combine
her personal style with her educational background in design. Today, Ms. Simmons is a
contributor to Vogue, Another Magazine, and Italian Vogue. She has collaborated with many of
the industryâ€™s most renowned photographers, including Steven Klein, Craig McDean, Mark Segal,
Mario Testino, Mario Sorrenti, and Mikael Jansson, among other notables.
Ms. Simmons has consulted with iconic fashion houses on their seasonal collections, including
Givenchy, Fendi, Calvin Klein, Gucci, Philosophy for Alberta Ferretti, DKNY, Dolce & Gabbana,
Alexander McQueen, and Jonathan Saunders.
Outer covering for the foot, usually of leather, with a stiff or thick sole and heel, and generally reaching no higher than the ankle (unlike a boot). Early examples from Mesopotamia were moccasinlike wraparounds of leather; not until the Hellenistic Age did shoes become luxurious. The Romans developed shoes fitted for the left and right feet, and differentiated according to sex and rank. In the 14th15th century, shoes became extremely long and pointed, the points attaining a length of 18 in. (45 cm) or more. In the 16th century, the toes became extremely broad, like a duck's bill. In the 17th century, shoes had moderately high heels and were often decorated with large rosettes of lace and ribbons, which gave way to gold or silver buckles in the 18th century. The first shoe factory opened in 1760, in Massachusetts, but not until the development of modern machinery in the 19th century were shoes made quickly and inexpensively.