In 1999 Rupert Sanderson resigned from a twelve-year career in advertising to sign up for a course at the renowned Cordwainers College in East London. It was much more than a decision made on a whim; he was fulfilling a long-held desire for making shoes.
Following his studies, he decided to immerse himself in the world of shoe making and travelled to Italy, where he rode around the country on a motorbike visiting factories, tanneries and last makers. It was the beginning of an ongoing passion for the country. Shortly after he moved to Bologna, working first with Sergio Rossi, then Bruno Magli. At this time both brands were still family-run companies. Working closely with the founders, Rupert honed his craft, learning how to make beautiful shoes using traditional methods handed down through generations.
In 2001 he returned to London and launched his own label. Starting with a collection of just 15 shoes his eponymous brand was founded on the design philosophy ‘less is more’ - a principle which continues to underlie every collection. Focusing on creating the perfect silhouette, he draws inspiration from the sensual curve of the lasts and heels, using the finest leathers and materials, and in an idiosyncratically British twist, each style is named after a daffodil. Having received numerous accolades for his work throughout the past eighteen years, including the British Fashion Council's Accessory Designer of the Year in 2008 and Accessory Designer at the Elle Style Awards in 2009, he remains uncommonly focused on shoe making. In 2006 he bought a small factory in Italy that was facing closure, helping to keep alive the craft of shoe making in the region for future generations.
Rupert Sanderson has collaborated with renowned designers Karl Lagerfeld and Antonio Berardi as well as the next generation of design talent, including Shrimps and Huishan Zhang. He has also designed shoes for the cast of The Royal Opera House's production of Aida and a sell-out limited-edition charitable collection for the Minions film franchise, worn by Sandra Bullock on the ‘yellow’ carpet. From royalty to Oscar winners, ballet dancers to pop stars and leading figures in the spheres of art and business, the world's most inspiring women have worn Rupert Sanderson shoes.