It's surprising that Monique Lhuillier is just now getting into the shoe game. After all, the Los Angeles-based designer's intricate wedding gowns and elegant evening wear generally requires one to wear a fancy heel. So it's exciting that Lhuillier's first-ever footwear collection, which features plenty of girly-but-still sleeks pumps priced from $595 to $1,195—hits Saks Fifth Avenue's New York store today. We chatted with Lhuillier about her new venture.
Fashionista: Why shoes now? Monique Lhuillier: Expanding into footwear was a natural extension of my gown designs. I’ve always wanted to dress women head-to-toe and had been pursuing the possibility of a shoe collection for quite some time. It was challenging to find the right partners, because I wanted the shoes to be luxurious and up to the same standards as my RTW and bridal collections. We did our due diligence and found the right manufacturer in Italy and we have been thrilled with the results. It was worth the wait!
There are shoes for day, evening and wedding wear—do you see your customers mixing that up? Definitely. I designed these styles with versatility in mind. The lace pump, for example, is a great wardrobe staple. It can be worn with skinny jeans and a tailored blouse during the day or a beautiful cocktail dress for evening. And I love it when a bride adds glamour to her look with an exceptional heel. Some of the metallic styles for evening can also be great options for a bride who wants to have a bit more fun with her accessories.
Which shoe would you say is the piece de resistance of the spring 2013 collection? The lace ankle cuff. Lace is one of my design signatures and this style is feminine and sexy, with just the right amount of edge.
You've expanded the collection for fall. How did it evolve? The fall ready-to-wear collection was colorful, textural and had a lot of moment. I wanted the shoes to be a balance to the clothing. The fall shoes are more architectural and edgy. I used velvet, suede and lace to add dimension and femininity to the designs.