Footwear designer Tabitha Simmons

Footwear designer Tabitha Simmons

When Cara, Kendall and Alexa are your biggest fans, you know you’ve made it. Tabitha Simmons, the celebrated UK footwear designer met with the media yesterday morning at Holt Renfrew in Vancouver, fresh from the Met Ball to debut her pre-Fall and Fall 2016 collections. 

Getting her start into footwear at the age of 14 working at a shoe store in England, she quickly discovered her passion. She went on to study Film and TV set design and was then discovered as a model. During this time she also started as a stylist and gave up modeling as a career, claiming she was a “terrible model.” 

Simmons started to style for magazines in England and working with such notable icons as Alexander McQueen and Calvin Klein. She would study their design process from the sketch to the full reality of the shows. 

Her shoe line debuted six years ago and is wildly successful today. She still continues to style while working for American Vogue, Dolce & Gabbana’s womens and mens and Alta Moda and consulting on other brands like Tory Burch. All the shoes in Simmons’ collection are made in Italy but always with an English quirk to it. They’re designed to be timeless; an intentional outcome from Simmons’ background as an editor. Shoes used for shoots are no longer useful the following season but that’s obviously not how it works in reality and she’d rather design a shoe line that would last for multiple seasons than something that’s always on trend. 

Fabrics and prints for the collection are all designed in house. For Summer and Pre-Fall, the collections are heavily inspired by the English garden so emphasis is on blooms used in a variety of patterns. For Winter, Simmons pushed art nouveau and kept the textures and lines very feminine and soft. 

Tabitha Simmons is available at Holt Renfrew.