Of all the outfit accompaniments, there’s nothing that stops fashion girls in their tracks quite like shoes—and there’s no season to really break your footwear boundaries like summer.
The toe-baring trends for the warmer months have been easy to track this year, from strappy sandals to square-shaped mules, but British designer Terry De Havilland is here to blow all your expectations out of the water. What you’ll be wearing this summer is a pastel-hued, reptilian-textured peep-toe platform, and that is simply that on that. The 50-year-old footwear company has evolved from a one-man operation in London’s East End to an international-recognized label worn by ‘It’-girls throughout the decades—from Kate Moss to Cara Delevingne.
Havilland became known as the “rock ‘n’ roll cobbler” after his shoes garnered the attention of the 1970s superstar set, including David Bowie and Mick and Bianca Jagger. The label credits TdH’s enduring appeal to the ’70s’ consistent presence in popular culture and the icons of the era who continue to grace the moodboards of modern designers.
“It keeps being referenced in fashion,” says a spokesperson for the brand. “Other decades had quite extreme looks were divisive—think mods and rockers [of the 1960s] as an example. We have an archive shot of Bianca Jagger stepping off a private jet. It could be today, but it’s from the ’70s.”
There are now styles still in circulation that TdH says carry with them the same instant brand recognition as a Chanel bag. The ‘Margeux‘ wedge has been around for 50 years and, as a result, TdH is “constantly striving to make shoes that can be identified as ours straight away.” Serendipitously, the signature elements of the brand’s designs have seen such a resurgence of late that it can barely keep up with demand.
“Our early collection only ever used snake skins and in the last few years we have seen the snake print become more of a classic item,” they claim. “Popular culture demands new looks are available immediately and so we have had to speed up the process so our new collections are faster to market.”
The label does lament that the UK doesn’t have the manufacturing resources to facilitate local production, which they hope might come t0 fruition sooner rather than later. Still, there’s no wonder TdH continues to capture the hearts of fashion girls everywhere—in a time when we’re determined to diversify (and post the evidence online), the brand maintains that the TdH woman needs to be “confident.” Why? Because “our shoes attract attention.”
And that they do.