Yeardley Smith is my kind of woman; she believes work should be co-mingled with a healthy dose of fun, has a wickedly awesome sense of humor, and believes that there’s no reason why style, comfort, and high quality footwear need to be mutually exclusive. Wanting to know more about personal take on creating a line of footwear, Marchez Vous, that catered to all three of these needs, Ms. Smith was kind enough to humor my series of questions that got right to the nitty gritty of designing and producing shoes, sharing some of her secrets to the trade, alongside some shoe style suggestions to keep you at the height of fashion and comfort all-summer-long!
Fashion Pulse Daily: For you, what makes a comfy shoe (and the elements that you incorporated into Marchez Vous)?
Yeardley Smith: AFTER I decided to have my own show line, I learned how complicated shoes are to make! LOL! (I often leap first, then look down. Oy!) But three things are a huge help in making a comfortable, high-fashion shoe:
1. Adding a hidden platform will mitigate the slope of any high heel, thus helping relieve the pressure being placed on the ball of your foot. 2. Add a cushion that has some resilience to it so that it springs back. (Hello, Poron!) 3. Every millimeter counts — in terms of strap placement, width of strap, and/or how the shoe wraps around your foot.
FPD: How do you make high heel heights (4″ or over) do-able for all-day wear?
YS: When you’re trying to make a 4-inch-plus heel that can go beyond the car to the bar, a hidden platform is essential. Of course, this is easy when platforms are trending, and a much bigger challenge when they’re not! But at the end of the day, no matter what trends are “in”, I refuse to make a shoe I can’t wear comfortably for at least 6 hours. If that means our single-sole shoes (i.e. no platform in front) have to have slightly lower heels, then so be it. I did, after all, make a promise to myself and my customers to make beautiful, comfortable shoes!
FPD: What has most surprised you about the shoe making/designing process?