How Rupert Sanderson’s Shoes Made Him Famous

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When a shoe designer reaches fame and fortune with their brand, we think of it as a modern Cinderella story.

Rupert Sanderson is a Malaysian-born British shoe designer who launched his eponymous footwear brand in 2001.

After twenty years in the making, this brand is seen as a symbol of understated British elegance.

One of Rupert Sanderson's luxury footwear stores in Shanghai, ChinaOne of Rupert Sanderson’s luxury footwear stores in Shanghai, China (Credit: TonyV3112 / Shutterstock)

We’re looking at how Sanderson’s shoes made him famous. You’ll also find out everything you need to know about this luxury footwear brand.

If you’re a fan of British celebrities and royalty, you’ll be no stranger to Rupert Sanderson’s elegant footwear.

Meet Rupert Sanderson

Sanderson has an unconventional background as a footwear designer.

He left a successful career in advertising to study at Cordwainers College before traveling to Italy to immerse himself in the home of luxury footwear.

Carey Mulligan shows off her feet in Rupert Sanderson Estelle cut-out satin heelsCarey Mulligan shows off her feet in Rupert Sanderson Estelle cut-out satin heels (Credit: Bill Davila / Startraksphoto)

Sanderson worked for Sergio Rossi and Bruno Magli, learning the tradition of Italian footwear before returning to London to launch his own brand in 2001.

He launched with just 15 shoes and a ‘less is more’ mentality. He strived to create the perfect silhouette, drawing inspiration from vintage fashion, and using the finest materials and leather.

Lea Michele shows off her feet in metallic silver Rupert Sanderson Teoni high heel sandalsLea Michele shows off her feet in metallic silver Rupert Sanderson Teoni high heel sandals (Credit: Daniel Robertson / Startraksphoto)

As a tribute to the brand’s British origins, each shoe is named after a daffodil.

What Rupert Sanderson Is Famous For?

Rupert Sanderson is famous for having collaborated with Antonio Berardi and Karl Lagerfeld. He also worked on the shoes for the Royal Opera House’s production of Aida.

Chloë Grace Moretz shows off her feet in Rupert Sanderson open-toe booties at the 2012 Women In Film Crystal + Lucy AwardsChloë Grace Moretz shows off her feet in Rupert Sanderson open-toe booties at the 2012 Women In Film Crystal + Lucy Awards (Credit: Tony DiMaio / Startraksphoto)

He collaborated with the Minions film franchise to launch a range of limited-edition shoes that sold out ahead of the film’s release after being worn by Sandra Bullock.

Sandra Bullock's Minion-inspired Rupert Sanderson heelsSandra Bullock’s Minion-inspired Rupert Sanderson heels (Credit: Lionel Hahn / AbacaUSA / Startraksphoto)

Sanderson’s brand has several high-profile clients, from ballet stars to royalty and Oscar-winning actresses.

He’s one of the go-to designers for the Duchess of Cambridge and counts Emmy Rossum, Victoria Beckham, and Brit Marling amongst his clientele.

Where Are Rupert Sanderson Shoes Made?

While Rupert Sanderson’s shoes encapsulate British elegance, they come with a ‘Made in Italy’ tagline.

These shoes are completely handmade in homage to traditional Italian craftsmanship.

Cody Horn shows off her feet in strappy Rupert Sanderson shoes at the 2012 Young Hollywood AwardsCody Horn shows off her feet in strappy Rupert Sanderson shoes at the 2012 Young Hollywood Awards (Credit: Tony DiMaio / Startraksphoto)

It’s no surprise that Sanderson chose Italy as the location to manufacture his shoes after learning from some of the country’s most famous craftsmen.

These shoes are made in studios near Bologna and Florence, while the Rupert Sanderson bags are manufactured in France.

Is Rupert Sanderson a Luxury Brand?

Rupert Sanderson is a luxury brand comparable to household names like Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, and Aquazzura.

Although Rupert Sanderson is a luxury brand, they don’t have a large presence of independent boutiques.

Kyra Sedgwick displays her sunflower ankle tattoo and Rupert Sanderson high heels for a Closer press conference in Tokyo in 2012Kyra Sedgwick displays her sunflower ankle tattoo and Rupert Sanderson high heels for a Closer press conference in Tokyo in 2012 (Credit: Aflo / Startraksphoto)

The brand’s flagship store is in Mayfair, London, with the shoes stocked in over 150 stores internationally.

Ellie Kemper shows off her feet in silver metallic Rupert Sanderson ‘Jacoba’ peep-toe sandalsEllie Kemper shows off her feet in silver metallic Rupert Sanderson ‘Jacoba’ peep-toe sandals (Credit: Sara De Boer / Startraksphoto)

Although these shoes can come with an eyewatering price tag, you will often find previous season styles on sale.

You can find Rupert Sanderson shoes through popular online retailers, such as Farfetch, The Outnet, and Rupert Sanderson.

Scroll down to see celebrities wearing high heels and shoes by Rupert Sanderson!

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