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  • Shoe folk
  • fay murphy
Shoe folk

My husband Tom and I work together on CHAPTER 2, we are both shoe folk; I design, he makes so I thought I'd share a few shoe facts about us both...

  • We met at the prestigious shoe college Cordwainers College in London. We graduated in 2002 with a degree in shoe design, marketing and product development. 
  • I haven’t physically made a pair of shoes since I left college but I’m responsible for millions of pairs made and sold around the globe.
  • I love seeing people in the street wearing my shoes. Even after all the shoes I’ve designed it’s still a buzz to know someone bought something I created.
  • We both work on other shoe related projects aside from CHAPTER 2: I have an almost full time job designing women’s shoes for a luxury British fashion house. Tom teaches and makes bespoke womens shoes. He has taught shoemaking one-on-one but also at The Royal College of Art, Cordwainers College and most recently at an accessories college in Montreal.
  • Since we’ve been together we’ve had around 8 different shoemaking workshops including in our living room in 2 different houses.
  • We’ve both had our own women’s footwear brands in the past and for our sins we’ve both had our faces printed on shoe packaging. Before you ask, NO you will never see it!
  • After kids my feet have spread and are now significantly wider than before so most of the gorgeous shoes I bought before kids don’t fit anymore. I’m slowly coming round to selling them. 
  • Although most of the shoes I own are high heels I’m terrible at wearing heels. Always have been, always will be.
  • Tom has only ever made me one pair of shoes, the ones I got married in. In fact he made both our wedding shoes. Me, a mid height wooden heel court shoe in nude with silver brushstrokes. Him, a pair of pewter leopard derbys.
  • We talk about shoes A LOT.
  • Our kids are not particularly interested in shoes (although one does enjoy a colouring book of sneakers). Generally when a package turns up at home they excitedly ask what’s in it only to answer “urgh” when I tell them it’s shoes.
  • I don’t think either of us wants our boys to go into footwear as a career, although if they did I can only imagine how incredible they could be... some of the best shoe designers come from shoe families...
  • Tom and I have similar-ish taste, although I do have more of a penchant for sparkles, fur and such like. I haven’t bought any metallics for a while but maybe that needs to change...
  • How many shoes do I own? I try not to think about it. I probably have about 5/6 pairs that I actually wear all the time and the rest are either research or archive samples. To put it in context we recently sorted out our archive and have 12 storage boxes of ones that we're not keeping so you can only imagine how many pairs that might be. That's not even mentioning the ones we are keeping!!
  • My favourite part of designing is choosing materials and new leathers, building a story through the colours and textures.
  • and finally, yes, we’re still working on women’s shoes for CHAPTER 2.
  • fay murphy