Bridal Buyer meets Emmy Scarterfield to discover the success story behind Emmy London, one of the UK’s best-loved luxury shoe brands
It’s a huge stereotype, but women and their love of shoes go together like strawberries and cream. So then, it’s no surprise that after her dress, most brides say the most important part of their wedding day look is their shoes.
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Step in Emmy Scarterﬁeld, Creative Director of Emmy London, whose gorgeous designs are much coveted by brides in the UK and beyond. And it’s easy to see why; Emmy’s creations are pretty, elegant, but most of all luxurious and extra special.
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Emmy tells us that she has loved shoes from a really early age and always knew she wanted to be a shoe designer; the love of her craft is what really makes her creations stand out. After training at Cordwainers College, she took her ﬁrst design job at M&S which she lovingly refers to as her ‘ﬁnishing school phase.’
From there she moved to Milan and worked for Giorgio Armani and Bottega Veneta designing shoes and bags. “That’s where my love and appreciation of reﬁned craftsmanship really took hold of my heart,” says Emmy. “When I returned to London, I freelanced for a few British fashion brands until I took the plunge and launched my own luxury shoe brand. The idea was born out of a light bulb moment; there was a genuine gap in the market, I was doing the right thing at the right time. Bridal was the perfect niche for my timeless aesthetic and attention to detail. 14 years on and I still love my job.”
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All of Emmy’s designs start as a sketch; the shape, height and silhouette of a shoe is deﬁned by the ‘last’ which is similar to milliner’s blocks. “I spend quite a long time perfecting that, which is a process I adore, it’s very hands on and you have to use your intuition by touch, the smallest imperfection creates so many problems in the ﬁnished shoe,” says Emmy.
“Then we start pattern cutting,” Emmy continues. “I like to draw the design straight onto the last to ensure the proportions are all perfect. Then my workshop work their craftsmanship magic to create the 2D sketch into a 3D prototype - I make all the samples in my size so I can try them on myself to make sure they are super comfy and then tweak as needed.”
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Emmy London’s new collection is called Meadow Dreaming, created as a celebration of grasses and ﬂowers found wild in the English countryside. Emmy explains that for this collection the brand has developed beautifully delicate hand-embroidery straight onto suede, using a soft gold metallic thread. The effect is exquisite. And her favourite? “Our Bluebelle style is proving to be a real hit, the soft powder blue with the delicate beaded embellishment is capturing the hearts of brides to be across the world.”
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Reﬂecting the thoughts of many bridalwear designers, Emmy acknowledges that brides are becoming more conﬁdent and brave in the way that they want to look on their big day. “I ﬁnd brides are indulging more, creating a bolder reﬂection of their personality with their shoes and accessories - less need for tradition and more a once-in-a-lifetime pair to keep and treasure forever.”
Emmy has a great deal of insight into what brides are looking for since opening her ﬁrst shop in London a couple of years ago. She cites this as the best business decision her company has made so far. In addition to her own boutique, the brand works closely with a few cherry-picked bridal boutiques. “It’s really important to us that we work with like-minded businesses that appreciate our attention to detail and those that we are conﬁdent will provide the personal service to our extended brides.”
When asked about special relationships with her retailers, Emmy explains the brand works alongside Luxe Bride. “Our shoes will be showcased in their exclusive boutiques so that brides can see our collection in person and really take in all the beauty, detail and reﬁned craftsmanship. It works so well because it completes the service for the bride from the boutique. What’s more, the boutique isn’t required to make any investment at all and yet they receive a cut of the sales, so it’s a really simple way to achieve a win win business model between designer and boutique.”
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There is a lot to look forward to: a new collection to be launched at New York Bridal Week, working on exciting embellishments with Swarovski, as well as some innovations in diamond jewellery via a collection with H.Samuel. In a nutshell watch this space!
Do you love Emmy Scarterfield? Learn more about her story by reading her Wonder Woman Wednesday profile.