Becoming one of the world's most demanded stylists and then creating a very well-regarded and acclaimed shoe brand has undoubtedly put Tabitha Simmons on the fashion world’s powerhouse list. A playfully chic style, exquisite materials, master craftsmanship and intricate detailing have all played a part in the rise of Simmons’s signature creations.
Get to know the Kingston University graduate and former model, who takes inspiration from her British roots and travels, better with our Q&A.
How did your involvement with the fashion industry begin, given that you graduated with a Film and Set Design degree? And how did your passion for shoes originate?
When I was at university studying Film and Set Design, I worked in an amazing store called Joseph and that is where I discovered fashion. I worked in the Alaïa section and my passion grew from there.
Who was the first to support you when you decided to become a footwear designer?
Jefferson Hack was a huge support and really helped me in the beginning. My business partner, George Duffield, as well, but over all I had amazing support from the press and great partners at retail.
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Have you encountered any difficulties or obstacles along the way?
Yes, many of them! But you try and overcome them and try not to make the same mistakes again. It is a process.
What are the key steps taken prior to launching any of your collections?
I would say it is making sure the samples are made extremely precisely and are exceptional quality.
Can you name some of your favourite footwear brands?
I have two favourite brands when it comes to footwear: Alaïa and Dolce & Gabbana.
Do you wear your own designs?
Yes, all the time, I try and test-drive them all.
Do you prefer a classic style or something a bit bolder?
I definitely prefer something classic. I like to wear shoes, not the other way round.
Are you satisfied with all your collections until now?
I always see room for improvement; that is how you constantly evolve.
How would you evaluate your position in the Middle Eastern market?
I would evaluate it as luxury.
What differentiates Tabitha Simmons as a brand?
The Tabitha Simmons brand is very feminine and timeless. Also, I really strive to make the shoes comfortable.
What do you believe distinguishes a high-quality shoe? Would it be its design or the materials used in making it?
Shoe making is extremely precise, so I guess they all make up a good quality shoe, from good lasts to the quality of the leather.
Which elements do you take into account when designing a shoe?
I need to take into account a lot of factors. But mainly, I always think first about the woman who is going to wear it.