Designing your own shoes is not a new thing in Hong Kong – but when they’re done this well, all other competition gets blown out of the water! I’m talking about Upper Street – an online customisable shoe brand that’s now available at Polkadot Boutique throughout November!
This UK brand was founded by two ladies, Julia Grinham and Katy Chandler, who were on the hunt for new kicks but just couldn’t find exactly what they wanted. They decided that the only way to get what you want was to design it yourself!
The trick to making your DIY score look as good as what’s on the designer shelves is to have fantastic materials to choose from. First off, the styles available at Upper Street range from classic to trendy; you can even take a classic shape then adjust the materials to give them a bit more edge! Upper Street have even enlisted top fashion and celeb stylist Nicole Smallwood to create a collection of must-have shoes that every woman should own; you can either buy the ready-to-wear styles as is, or customise the shoes to your liking. Simply select your preferred style and heel height, then get cracking on what you want that puppy to look like!
Deciding on the material for your shoe is the hardest part –the colours, skins and textures available will have you clamouring for more than just one pair, trust me! You can even order sample swatches from the website so you can touch the fabrics before deciding on the final product – or, even better, go by Polkadot during November to browse the book of swatches for yourself! I suggest that you play around on the website first and save the styles that you love so you have a bit of direction for what you are looking for – it can get a little intimidating pondering all the possibilities!
Reason numero dos why Upper Street’s shoes top my made-to-measure list is that they are ready in only two weeks! So when you get a party invite in the mail, you can RSVP, then order some custom kicks ready for the big event! I picked up a green metallic pair that are perfect for the holiday festivities ahead, plus bold colours and metallics are currently all the rage – see my epic shoe roundup here for the full scoop on what’s hot this season!
Finally, these babies come in a full range of sizes. Us big footed ladies in HK know what a problem it is to find shoes that fit… Well, Upper Street’s wares are available up to size 44 (cue joyful choir sounds)! Have the opposite problem? Well, they go down to size 33 too (are you listening, Vivien?!), so even wee tootsies can have fab footwear!
Party season is almost upon us, so now’s the time to start designing your Upper Street shoes. I should also mention that Upper Street also do a full range of wedding styles on the site for all you brides-to-be out there. Prices vary depending on the style and the materials you select, but are generally around HK$1,700-2,400 for a ready-to-wear pair, or more if you go custom. Yes, these are somewhat higher end but so is the quality – plus, you are getting a shoe that is designed and made especially for you!
So treat yourself or someone you love to the perfect pair of Upper Street shoes this holiday season (psst… they do gift cards on the website too). Start kicking those heels up for joy, ladies!
Photos by Sabrina Sikora Photography