August 22 2014

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Charlotte Dellal Would Rather Be Backstage


To anyone familiar with Charlotte Dellal’s body of work, it should come as no surprise that the Brit-girl shoe designer didn’t pack a single pair of flats for her two-day trip to New York this week. “These are my traveling shoes,” said Dellal with a mischievous smile, showing off a pair of her own steeply inclined black patent Charlotte Olympia platform wedges.

Dellal was in town to accept the Vivian Infantino Emerging Talent honor at the Footwear News Achievement Awards on Tuesday night, which she attended with friend Olivia Palermo, as well as celeb stylists J. Logan Horne and Tracy Cox. At breakfast the next morning, she proclaimed herself a bit out of sorts. Still, she looked typically polished in black leather shorts, a Dolce & Gabbana/Naomi Campbell Fashion for Relief T-shirt signed by the supe herself, and, of course, her signature retro-glam coif and matte red lips.

Though Dellal is a girl who considers 125 mm a mid-heel, she explained, her best seller for Spring 2011 was in fact a flat—a knotted leopard style. “Nearly every stockist bought that as their flat shoe and then chose different heels,” she said. That list of stockists newly includes Harrods and Selfridges as well as Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. She also opened her own store in July in London’s Mayfair, which has served as an excellent crash course in merchandising. “I’m learning the art of buying stock at the moment,” she said. “I would have never thought we’d need so many small sizes, but we have a ton of Chinese clients who have tiny feet. My manager just e-mailed me saying, ‘We need more 35s and 36s!’ “

Dellal returns to New York in February to see Peter Som’s show, for which she’s designed the shoes for the past two seasons. But don’t expect to see her in much more than Som’s front row. “I don’t necessarily fly to New York to go to shows,” she said. “I only go to shows I’ve worked on, and Giambattista Valli who’s a friend and Valentino because I love him. I like being involved. In fact, I’d prefer to be backstage.”

Photo: A. Scott/

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