They say variety is the spice of life for us, it’s the key to fabulous footwear. While we love our heavenly heels and sky-high stilettos, chic flats complete any well-styled wardrobe. Finding the perfect pair however, is not as easy as one may expect. Ill-fitting uppers, shoddy workmanship and a lack of support often tarnish a beloved footwear staple. Enter London brand Duke & Dexter, a brand that takes slip-ons to a whole new, and exciting level.
Duke & Dexter was created to fill a void in the marketplace for high-quality yet affordable slip-on shoes, explains CEO and Creative Director Archie Hewlett. It blends British Heritage with Global inspiration to provide a contemporary take on a footwear favorite.
The concept, was to transform the much-loved velvet slipper from indoor wear to ready-to-wear — an item to be dressed up or dressed down. By producing on-trend variations of differing patterns, textures, and colors, Duke & Dexter quickly attracted a loyal clientele eager for chic comfort at an affordable price point.
From camouflage print to classic shades, these designs take their inspiration from the past with updated manufacturing techniques that spur them into the future. For example, their signature velvet is a short, non shiny, brush velvet that enhances the brands solid, clean colors. Other materials such as canvas, linen, pony hair, quilt and needlepoint, are used to give the designs a contemporary feel. And then, of course, there are the practical elements
“Comfort is key,” says Hewlett. “You might explode with sales initially due to your innovative designs and brilliant marketing, but if customers are unable to physically enjoy wearing your shoes, then your brand has no longevity to it.”
The brand sources materials from near and wide, “the more extravagant, the better.” But it is the brands home base which gives the brand a grounded outlook. “Being based in London allows us to remain in constant touch with the traditional aspects of a British velvet slipper and the associations, clients, and grandeur one should expect from such a shoe,” says Hewlett. “Simultaneously, London allows us to embrace the contemporary world of shoe fashion at the very best level. A perfect harmony of the two is what we’re all about!”
With global expansion on the horizon and its own independent retail store set to open in Central London, this is one brand who’s bringing sexy back, one slipper at a time. DukeandDexter.com — JULIA STUART