In a moment of madness, or divine intervention Rupert Sanderson resigned from a disastrous career in advertising to learn how to make shoes at the world-renowned 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, making 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 Italian factory he had been working with since his first collection. The skills and know-how 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 a London stores located in Mayfair and his shoes are available in over 200 department and specialist stores in fashion capitals around the world. In March 2010 Rupert Sanderson opened an Asian flagship store in Central, Hong Kong and in March 2013 he opened a second store in the Elements Mall, Kowloon.
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.
For Autumn/Winter 2009, Rupert Sanderson designed the shoes for Karl Lagerfeld’s main line collection and has since collaborated with some other big names in the fashion industry, from Parisian haute couturier, Maxime Simoens to young British talent, Osman Yousefzada. He is currently collaborating with Milan based couturier Antonio Berardi and ex-Cacharel designer Cedric Charlier.
Over the past decade, Rupert Sanderson has built up a loyal celebrity fan base, including stars such as Kate Moss, Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Gwyneth Paltrow, Freida Pinto, Keira Knightley, Kate Middleton and Emma Watson.
For Spring/Summer 2013 Rupert Sanderson launched his first handbag and sneaker collections. Inspired by his childhood music bag – the ‘Music Bag’ collection includes four key styles that are reworked each season.
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…