Fashion forward large size shoes are now a reality for women with big feet, thanks to the creative skills and high fashion experience of the design team at Shoesissima.
We’ve long been fans of the brand at Isy B. Shoes, but it was love at first try the very first time I slipped my toots into a pair of Shoesissima’s divine Barbara flats. I caught up with the UK based design team behind Shoesissima, to find out more about the shoes. You know it’s always all about the shoes at Isy B!
Isy B.: How did you come to launch Shoesissima?
Shoesissima: I’ve worked in the shoe and fashion industry for several decades but always with what retail considers to be “normal” size ranges i.e. UK 3-8 (US 5-10) but started to hear my friends talking about their children finding it difficult to get shoes their size. Additionally, in the industry, the average size women’s shoe in the UK has increased from a size 4 to a 6 in the last 15 years and I started to wonder if there wasn’t a gap in the market! I did a lot of research and what I found were several brands that had already started to go down this route but I was disappointed with the offer. Either it was the same few brands being offered by every site or, of those that were designing from scratch, the fashion content was lacking compared to what you can find on the high street or mall in any season.
Isy B.: Why are the more fashion forward larger size shoes so expensive? Is it really that more expensive to make a larger shoe?
Shoesissima: It can take up to 3 square feet of leather to make a UK size 12 shoe (US size 14 shoes). Most factories are not set up to make any size over a UK 8 unless it is a man’s shoe and it requires a more work on their part. At Shoesissima, we have tried to keep our pricing accessible. They are not cheap but nor do they use cheap materials. We aim for somewhere between the most expensive and the cheapest available.
Isy B.: What’s behind the name?
Shoesissima: I have strong connections with Italy and lived there for some time. Issima is a suffix the Italians add to adjectives to make it bigger (grande = big; grandissima = very big!). I just liked the idea of incorporating a gentle reference to a bigger offer in the site name.
Isy B.: As a professional shoe designer what would you say is the difference between designing shoes for the mainstream market and shoes for big feet?
Shoesissima: The key issues designing and making shoes for bigger feet are the practical ones above which in turn can have an impact on design – sometimes we have to simplify a design to make it commercially viable. Another issue is scale; trims that work on a size 4 will not necessarily work on a size 12 shoe. We also pay particular attention to the support and fit of every component. Our girls are often taller and sometimes bigger and we can’t run the risk of a heel detaching under them!
Isy B.: What characterizes the Mississma style?
Shoesissima: The key element is fashion content. If studs are in fashion, you will see studs. If block heels are on the catwalk, then that’s what we will be offering. We want to attract the right fashion-forward customer as that is our target market. We try to inject the appropriate looks for each season in terms of color/materials/trims.
Isy B.: What do you see as this season’s essential footwear looks?
Shoesissima: The key looks were definitely monochrome, block heels and snake for SS13. These continue into A/W 13 but with black dominating and more material contrasts like black suede mixed with black patent and then in S/S 14 we will see lots of different heights of block heel, flatforms (wedges all the same height along the length of the foot), mixing textures AND color – so maybe the front of the shoe black and the back tan and then lots of gold trims. Highlight colors are turquoise, cobalt blue and orange/red.
We’ve incorporated all of these into our next collection and the samples are already here!
Isy B.: We want more Shoesissima Shoes, how can we feed our addiction?
Shoesissima: Find us at shoesissima.com and if all goes well, we will launch on ASOS for SS14 but we ship internationally from the UK and we also wholesale in Australia. Once on ASOS, the shoes will be available in practically every country in the world, fashion forward large size shoes for every woman with big feet.