The one thing I could never bring myself to spend a lot of money on is shoes. I'm sure it must feel pretty good to slip on a brand-new pair of sparkling Manolos, but shoes are subjected to grimy pavements and wet puddles and no matter how much you spend, there's always the risk they'll give me blisters. To me, £250 is a lot to spend on a pair of shoes (let alone over £1000), so I've been particularly interested by the amazing mid-priced designers that have been emerging over the past few years.
The Style Stalker
Cool, niche, cult and budget-friendly shoe brands are not as hard to come by as they once were. Take South Korean Reike Nen, which has become a choice pick for street style stars, or Kalda, which sells its wares near the £250 mark. Keep scrolling for our roundup of cool new designer shoe brands.
Kalda is such a new shoe brand whose website is coming soon, but these stilettos and strappy sandals are quickly becoming an industry favourite. Plus, they're stocked at Harvey Nichols and Browns. Trust me—these are comfortable too.
Seoul-based Reike Nen, founded by Rei Yoon Hongmi in 2010, likes to create what it calls "contemporary refinement." Think classic silhouettes (Mary Janes and kitten heels are among the brand's main output) from the past mixed with its own ultra-contemporary style. The winning combo (not to mention the all-too-reasonable price tag) has won the affections of the street style set.
By Far is by no means new on the scene, but its epic range of affordable designer shoes should still be celebrated. The Bulgaria-based brand was founded by three friends (Valentina Bezuhanova, Sabina Gyosheva, and Denitsa Bumbarova) who couldn't find shoes they love, so decided to take the matter into their own hands. "We wanted shoes that are really easy to wear but are also elegant enough for night, too, and not overpowering," they told Vogue U.S.
Founded by London-based Turkish designer Dora Teymur while he was still in fashion school in 2012, Dorateymur has fast become a cult favourite. "I was doing mules for every project [at school]. I was obsessed," the designer told Coveteur. "When I did my pilot collection, it was only mules, and many buyers said, 'Oh, mules? We only sell mules to grannies, so we can't.'" The irony, eh?
Yuul Yie is another new name in fashion circles, as the South Korean label was founded in 2010 and only was picked up by British buyers in the last few years. We particularly love the shoes with the pearl details.
Scandinavian accessories brand ATP Atelier was only founded in 2011 and originally started just with footwear — it has a clean aesthetic with interesting shapes, such as the sandals with quirky detailing.