"My Beloved Bruno Magli's"

Welcome to OLD SOLES! The Blog where you will find the most favourite soles, the people who inhabit them and why they chose to do so. Enjoy OLD SOLES!

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Floral designer Breige Siegan-Smith  http://www.flowersbybreige.co.uk/ spends a lot of the time wearing wellies while tending to her blooming creations. But these soles are the exception.
Purchased 5 years ago from Zara these ankle black leather boots studded with gold detail lift her spirits and make her feel grounded.
When she swapped the urban Notting-Hill, London pavements for the muddy country hills of Staffordshire, England they transported her to her past London life.
"I wear them every-time I need a smile!" 

Monday, 1 August 2016


The artist Rosemary Cronin http://rosemarycronin.co.uk/ is a Clara Bow fan and she loves the brogues that the silent screen icon wears in many of her films.

Purchased in Camden high street around 8 years ago she was hoping to get the black version but they only had these cherry pie coloured soles in her size 3. She bagged a discount as well due to a mark on the shoe and has grown to love the deep red hue that they possess.

One day on the Brighton Pier she came across Zoltan the Fortune Teller who said to her " You will succeed in life if only you wear the right shoes"

Friday, 1 July 2016

Abby Hignell, Director of Hignell Gallery http://hignellgallery.com in Mayfair adores dancing. But even more how her pink and white leather handmade dancing soles feel on her feet.

Bought 7 years ago at Johnson Shoes http://johnson-shoes.com for her Rhythm Riot Lindy Hop events, these brogues were her staying power nd main accessory. But in the last couple of months she has decided to wear them as non dancing shoes. Made with the most amazing soft leather that mold into her feet, they provide much needed comfort during long hours of private views and opening nights.

“They are the eye candy in a crowded room full of serious conversation because they make people stop and smile”.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

This month instead of searching for other soles I decided to highlight one of my very own favorites.  Bought in Paris 15 years ago, these Prada www.prada.com 40's style peep toes suit my taste for retro chic footwear.
I was on a weekend trip to Paris with one of my oldest New York City girlfriends Barbara. We encountered an outlet shop where I came across the two toned soles made of ecru leather and brown canvas with detailed stitching. I fell in love with them and the price tag of 50 french francs! "They are my  back to glamour time machines!"

Sunday, 1 May 2016

These rumpled dress navy patent leather shoes belonged to the photographer Max Milligan's https://www.facebook.com/Max-Milligan-Photography-232299329144/
father who was a navel officer and winner of the sword of honor from King George the 5th in 1935.
The vintage soles have been around since before the second world war.
Resoled twice Max only wears them to black tie occasions.
"These soles have seen action on the war front and on the dance floor!"

Friday, 1 April 2016


Brett Rogers, OBE, Director of London's Photographer's Gallery http://thephotographersgallery.org.uk/ loves the bright orange colour and new form of rubber design that her United Nude flat soles possess.
Purchased a few years ago while visiting the Brighton Photo Biennial she decided to also get another pair in vibrant green.
"They bring me joy especially during rainy summer days … easy to clean and never loose their colour!"

Tuesday, 1 March 2016


I encountered sparkle envy when I first glanced at these silver glitter oxfords worn by Fiona Smith the adult programme manager at The National Portrait Gallery ... www.npg.org.uk
Due to the markdown... £160 to £35 it was impossible to resist this implusive online purchase from Black Truffle... a boutique in Hackney.
These twinkling soles stop traffic as Fiona cycles through london city streets.
"They invite comment, liven up any outfit and are incredibly comfortable!" 

 




Monday, 1 February 2016

Curator Thierry Guillet discovered these soles in a tiny shop in Paris during the mid nineties when he was working for Yohji Yamamoto.

Made in France by Jesuit monks he found these sandals quite similar in design and simplicity to the ones Diane Vreeland described in her memoirs D.V. as the "Perfect Sandals"

These days he wears them everyday in his home like slippers.

"I can attest that after all these years they have remained the sandals of a lifetime"

Friday, 1 January 2016

 
I was overwhelmed with delight by Nick Lewin's http://www.pointblankproductions.com/usa/directors/nick-lewin/ eclectic shoe collection. The award winning and celebrated film director has an array of super stylish soles for any occasion. 

These stripy numbers are a gift from his wife who knows how much he loves his footwear. Their origin is Lebanese and provide much comfort during his summer month travels.

"They are just incredibly elegant and make me feel good be they in my case or on my feet!"


Tuesday, 1 December 2015


Joan Rolls, PR for fine jeweller Van Cleef &Arpels http://www.vancleefarpels.com grew up in Fiji. Wearing flowers in her hair and walking barefoot was the usual way of life. 

So style and comfort is what she saw in these cherry red velvet ballerina style flats.
Beautifully handmade by a cobbler she discovered in one of her many trips to Greece these soles make her smile and think about how truly wonderful the colour red is!

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Ghislaine Nassif, the founder and director of http://ravenartsociety.com/  
collects art as well as shoes.
It was shoe heaven as she showed me her vast and varied amounts of sole candy.
I held my breath and stopped at these screaming patent pink leather Paul Smith's.
These sexy silver strappy heels have many tales to tell judging from that sole action!


Thursday, 1 October 2015

The Italian photographer Bruna Rotunno http://www.brunarotunno.com wears her Converse everywhere.
She has amassed a large collection in a variety of colours to suit her mood whether its an evening out on the town or traveling the world to shoot advertising campaigns and reportage work.
These maize yellow soles were bought 10 years ago in Salve,  a small town in the region of Salento in Southern Italy.
"They are chic, comfortable and easy to get along with!"

Tuesday, 1 September 2015


British artist Sadie Lee https://www.facebook.com/sadieleeart loves men shoes. Generally they are too wide and too big for her slim 6 size. But these 60's chiseled toe handsome soles from a vintage retro shop in Greenwich spoke to her as she saw them on the shelf. Her Cinderella moment arrived as she slipped them on for the perfect fit. The shopkeeper with tears in his eyes dropped the price immediately and said he wanted her to have them because it would give him joy to see her wearing them.

They are a bit scruffy and need some tender loving care from a proper cobbler but are still super comfortable and they have had the most compliments than any of her other shoes. The filmmaker Campbell X who Sadie has great admiration for spotted them on Sadie as she sat cross-legged at an event and snogged them saying “ I just have to say,  I don't know you but your shoes are so beautiful,  I need to kiss them immediately!” echoing Sadie's own feelings about her treasured soles “ They are so stylish and so beautiful,  I love them!”

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Lou Simmonds founder and designer of Luna Bea www.lunabea.com Toffel clogs have had many adventures. They have danced all day and night at a wedding in Tuscany, been soaked from being accidently thrown in a lake in Sri Lanka, partly damaged by her BMX pedals and chewed by a fox that stole them from her kitchen!
Purchased in 2013 from The Swedish Hasbeens shop in London, these soles have provided her with comfort and something to go with her 60's and 70's vintage pieces.
Lou believes that a woman cannot feel sexy if she is not comfortable. Not being able to walk in shoes is an abstract concept for her.
“I don't like to think too much about what Im wearing. "I always want to feel free and believe there is sensuality in movement” "I love these shoes and they feel pretty close to being barefoot which is my ideal shoe!”

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

The cartoonist, illustrator and artist Steven Appleby www.stevenappleby.com Prada's came into his life via a £200 Liberty christmas gift voucher 4 years ago. Reduced from £500 to £160 during the sales and in his size he hit the jackpot.
Despite the heel,  he finds them incredibly comfortable and wears them during special occasions. But his calf muscles don't like them as much due to the fact that he has not stretched them out properly by wearing them more often.
These special soles change his silhouette. "They are not just boots, they change the entire way I look by transforming my posture and body shape for the better!"

Monday, 1 June 2015

The multidisciplinary designer Georgia Vaux playpurse.com splattered painted suede soles are no accident. And they were on the scene before the paint drip trainers from Maison Margiela!
Bought in Paris to rescue her from the constraints of heels she bought them back to London where she accidentally dropped cooking oil on them. Growing up with seeing her mother who is a painter wearing her slip-on paint encrusted trainers while she painted in her studio gave her an idea. She got out all her selection of paints and did a Jackson Pollack on them.
"You can't wear them in the rain or you will end up with a Turner landscape!"

Friday, 1 May 2015

Since his teens The Whig Party leader Waleed Ghani http://whigs.uk/vauxhall desired handmade bespoke soles from John Lobb on St. James street. Receiving an operational tour bonus after having served in Afghanistan allowed him to realize his dream of owning these classic beautifully crafted soles. Upon his return to London he made an appointment and over a year later his elegant black leather Oxfords were ready.  Super comfortable he is as passionate as ever about them. "When I wear them they are transformative...  ok this is it,  its game time!"

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

The glass designer Paola Petrobelli www.paolapetrobelli.com/ is a trainer girl. These Golden Goose Deluxe's were bought during the Harvey Nicks sales in London over 7 years ago. She found them in her favourite navy blue colour and loved the fact that they had no label showing off a brand name. With leather insoles which keep her feet warm during the winter months these well worn soles have been everywhere amassing a series of holes . “In Venice when I visit my glass blowers I can only wear them when there is no Acqua Alta”


Sunday, 1 March 2015

Artist Hugo Dalton http://www.hugodalton.com/ cherishes his silver Jil Sander Puma soles. Bought around 10 years ago on the last day of Harvey Nichols London summer sales the attraction was the colour, comfort and the fact that they had it in his size 12. The worn metallic leather texture exudes character and only come out during special occasions "I sort of imagine that I found them in the corner of Andy Warhol's Factory"

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Photomonitor  http://www.photomonitor.co.uk/ editor Christiane Monarchi found these lush vintage emerald Sohari Ehinger soles on Esty 2 years ago. Christiane was lucky to have found her narrow size and the fact that they fit like a dream. They match her gold and green brocade mini dress that her mother wore to parties in Paris during the 60's. She loves the fact that these soles also had a previous life just like the dress. 
"Just looking at them makes me want to get dressed up and go out to party!"

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Art Dealer and former director of The White Cube in Bermondsey Sara Kay wanted shiny shoes. She needed to sparkle and “sex it up” so these silver Vera Wang's became her post divorce soles. Bought more than 2 years ago at the New York madison avenue store she finds them super comfortable. “I dont like to suffer … thats why I got divorced!”

Monday, 1 December 2014

Anne-Pierre d"Albis-Ganem is the founder of Parcour Saint Germain des Pres www.parcoursaintgermain.com a contemporary art event in Paris that resurrects the avantgarde spirit in the left bank during the time that the art fair FIAC takes place.
Bought 18 years ago these Sergio Rossi's looked like the shoes that her mother wore in the sixties.  Her favourite outfit to wear with them was an A line short skirt and Gaultier top and she had them on when she met her husband.
The Rossi's have followed her everywhere but the sad truth is that she can't wear them anymore because her feet have changed size since having children.
But these soles are symbolic because they represent a special time in her life.
"These are my elegant timeless shoes!"

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Megan Piper art dealer and co founder of the-line.org a sculpture walk in London was given these Versace's about 4 years ago as a present. They came in a pristine vintage Versace box and had never been worn. The lilac color was a complete surprise and made her laugh.
Having done a full day in them during Art Basel Miami these 80's soles gave her comfort and that cheeky factor. 
“I save them for high days and holidays”

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

The British artist Kate Daudy http://katedaudy.com/overview  exhibiting at London Frieze and Parcour Saint Germain Paris this October found these slipper like flats for £5 at Zara's. She took them to Arles this past summer for her Recontres Arles show because all the other shoes she had were pretty but not comfortable. While installing her work in a gravel-floored Roman tunnel these soles proved to be more comfortable than anything else she had in her bag.
What she likes about them as slippers is the fact that they are not wooly and slippy on her wooden stairs at home.
“As shoes they are not terrific but I am grateful to them for exisiting when I needed them”.

Monday, 1 September 2014

The contemporary artist Bharti Kher http://www.hauserwirth.com/artists/17/bharti-kher/biography known for incorporating the Bindi to symbolise themes of migration and movement seems to have covered alot of ground with these soles.
Grey shoes were really not her cup of tea but in 2012, somewhere in Asia in an airport shop she found these very comfortable and sexy Hermes.
"They are French, a bit kinky and school teacher all in one!"

Friday, 1 August 2014

The shoe designer Georgina Goodman www.georginagoodman.com does not believe in a favourite shoe but in different shoes for lots of different occasions. She has a fond attachment for these woven leather 70 style boots because they were from her very first collection. Georgina took a traditional technique of braided leather found in Spain and India to create the antique look in the detail. Made of a veg tan leather these emerald green soles are over 10 years old and are still in top form because she uses a good shoe mender. “ Im a believer of having things that you love and keeping them forever”.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Its all about the shoe than the bag for Tamara Beckwith. The TV star and gallery owner www.thelittleblackgallery.com absolutely loves her Charlotte Olympia's www.charlotteolympia.com. These suede leafy very high soles are a statement piece and Tamara believes that shoes are about making an entrance. "These Olympia's are my showpiece!"


Sunday, 1 June 2014

Obsessed since childhood by moccasins Celia Willis, the other half of www.wearethephotogirls.com finally found them in New York after a 2 month road trip traveling across America 5 years ago. Still needing to feel like she was wearing a countryside shoe, these suede beaded fringe sole beauties were exactly what the doctor ordered .  "I've finally found my ultimate moccasins!"

Thursday, 1 May 2014

The Dutch artist Marcelle Hanselaar www.marcellehanselaar.com feels like she is part of the royal court wearing these cowboy boot shoes.
It was all about the pink inside when she purchased them from R. Soles on the Kings Road in London almost 15 years ago.
Referring to Louis the 16th declaration that wearing red heels was a statement of aristocracy, her vibrant pink inner lined soles is her statement of gentry and best kept secret. "Nobody comes between me and my shoes!"

Tuesday, 1 April 2014


The English film director, writer, photographer and composer Mike Figgis www.mikefiggis.co.uk
is a fan of Prada shoes by accident. Bought his first pair years ago on a fashion whim and fell for the comfort and superb tailoring. He found these two tone leather soles 5 years ago at the Prada outlet located outside of Florence. The last remaining pair and on sale they fitted like Cinderella's.
He is a shoe and tie kinda guy and once a year he makes sure to purchase one of each and then hangs out in the shoe department writing and observing the world go by while his partner stocks up in the women's department.
"They are my conversation starter shoes"

Saturday, 1 March 2014


Leonie Booth Clibborn www.paragonpress.co.uk prefers her Courreges www.courreges.com black leather patents to heels anytime. Bought in Paris about 7 years ago these are her second identical pair. She only wears skirts and dresses and finds these soles best suit her style and provide comfort as well. " I love the fine leather piping along the edges!"

Saturday, 1 February 2014


The artist Tom Moore www.tommoore.eu likes his spots. These dalmation soles were a gift from his sister Sophie who managed to track down the right size from a wholesaler after the shop in Covent Garden end of sale did not have his size.
Tom loves the high contrast and the shape which makes him think of the steps in old dance diagrams... sharp, dynamic and with a sure direction.
"Then the guests rose, drank a whispered toast to the young mother, and tiptoed from the house. All except Cruella de Vil. When she reached the hall she went straight to Nanny Butler who was seeing the guests out and demanded: Where are those puppies?" Dodie Smith

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Fashion sales director Larissa Allen likes her glitter and found these soles at Fenwicks in London. Made by X an Italian dance shoe company,  comfort and that they were on sale was a bonus.
"Wearing them makes me want to do a little jig!"

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Editor in Chief of The YOOX Group www.yoox.com Isabella Panizza first spotted and fell in love with these Charlotte Olympia's www.charlotteolympia.com at The Austique Shop in Chelsea in 2009. She declined to purchase because at the time she was 8 months pregnant and had no sense of balance!  On her last night in London before she moved to Milan,  Charlotte Dellal, the designer behind Charlotte Olympia presented her with a farewell present...the red/pink silk satin soles!
Isabella finds the colour, shape and heels sexy and perfect.
"I still remember the first time I wore them after I had my baby. I went on a date with my husband in Rome. It was a like a statement: Im still a woman and a wife not just a smelly mummy!"

Friday, 1 November 2013


Quentin Jones www.quentinjones.info directs surreal photo-montage animated fashion films for clients like Victoria Beckham, Chanel, Vogue, Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs.
While in London she borrows her mother's black and white soles because she likes their classic design and also because they look like Chanel but are not.
She wears them with short skirts and jumpers and finds them chic.
"They are my lady-like pumps!"

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Sigrid Kirk, the other half of Arts&Co http://arts-co.com/v2/ a curatorial and cultural production agency is attracted to the combination of wood and metallic leather that her Marni soles possess.
Bought 7 years ago for a show she was curating she thought stilettos would have made too much of a "Clack Clack" at the venue where the wooden floors were very polished. She found that the timber heels created a mutual relation to the ground she stood on.
Sigrid believes Donna Karan says it well "Design is a constant challenge to balance comfort with luxe and the practical with the desirable"