Dear Frances is the go-to footwear brand for the urban romantic. Launched by London-based designer Jane Frances, it’s simple yet elegant silhouettes, use of quality leathers and exquisite craftsmanship sets its apart from its competitors. Still in its infancy as a global brand, Dear Frances’ Autumn/Winter collection exudes understated elegance and timeless style. Aptly named, Move Me, the collection explores Frances’ relationship between artisanal tradition and designer street wear.
“I’ve always had an affinity with architecture and furniture design, and this certainly translates through my collections,” says Frances. “In a sense, shoe design is much like architecture for the foot; it has to be structured and involves engineering specific gradients, sole supports and so on. When I first began my studies in shoe design, I found myself taking countless photos of urban architecture, geometric shadows and almost anything with straight lines. I’m fascinated by symmetry being thrown slightly off kilter. To me, there’s something raw and romantic about that.”
Frances works with a small factory in Milan which has a long history of luxury shoe production, sourcing much of the suede for this Autumn/Winter collection from a high-end tannery close by. “The perspex and elastic detail in the float ankle boot, even the thread used for hand stitching, are from the same town,” says Frances. “It’s a wonderful experience and a very satisfying way to work, within such a small community.”
Committed to creating quality design that transcends trends, Frances designs for the empowered woman who seeks to exude both strength and elegance. “I wanted to create a collection that captured the characteristics of a self-assured attitude and quiet contentment,” says Frances. “As a result, my collections have notions of strength and rawness, as well as subtle romance.”
Quickly rising through the ranks of footwear favorites, Dear Frances is a brand we love to wear and for Frances, that’s the pay off. “It’s hard to beat the feeling you get from seeing your very first collection come to life and seeing Dear Frances designs on people’s feet,” she says. “That is still one of the highest points of my journey so far.” — ANGELA GILLTRAP