Christmas 2018 - Update December 04th 2018
After I sold French Sole back in late 2017, I planned to completely retire, do nothing at all - just laze around enjoying life, my grandchildren and planning renovations in my garden.
I cherished the idea of seeing family and friends, getting back into the swing of life without the daily challenges of running a business in this new era of retailing.
By 2015 the family were sick and tired of French Sole and anything to do with shoes! Then along came a private equity company and we struck a deal to sell the business. This gave me the direct exit that I longed for.
My wonderful design assistant Katie-Jane McConnaghie who I worked so closely with for many years also decided to move, with family, to America. So our wonderful design partnership ended at the same time that I retired, although we are in constant touch and remain the very best of friends.
French Sole is now run and managed by the new CEO/Managing Director Myles Charles Bunyard and his very clear vision of the brand seems to be working a miracle for French Sole. I am always being asked if I miss French Sole. Looking back I do miss the “old days” and often hear the same comment “It's not the same without you”, which is flattering after all the hard work.
I am often asked “What do you think of the new look French Sole?”
I find it sad that the brand is never as frequently featured in the press. It is also a shame that the only styles available to purchase with full size runs seem to be the new Greek ballet shoes. However it is a great idea to return to the original concept of simply selling ballet pumps, taking French Sole back to its early beginnings.
My website strangely disappeared in the middle of last year, and to be honest I fully intended to do nothing more with it, until I ran into some of my old customers in Chelsea who all said they missed my website. It has taken several months to recover my domain name and website which had been taken over by the new owners.
I am glad to say I am back now! Moving forward, I have no intention of getting involved with social media and my blog will be my main priority, featuring shoes, style and fashion that I personally love. I will feature my own new Tory Burch collection of shoes and will be looking at vintage Chanel, offering advice including where to buy and source these exquisite pieces.
I will also keep you updated on my new projects including; designing a complete range of ballerinas for a hugely prestigious fashion giant! The Little Dax shoes I designed with Rosie Fortescue for Battersea Dogs Home, and my charity news updates, including my new involvement with The English National Ballet.
I hope to also share some of my gardening work including; reclaiming the riverbank in my garden and the renovations of two gorgeous mews properties in Chelsea.
Finally, you will all remember my lovely mini - dachshund Daphne (in her LV carrier!!) who was the inspiration, along with her friend Noodle, for the famous Little Dax shoe that Rosie Fortescue designed for French Sole in aid of Battersea Dogs Home. Last year we welcomed our third Norwich Terrier Teddy to the family - we love him to bits and he simply adores Daphne, so this is their Christmas picture of Peace, Happiness and Harmony which must be the true message of this and every Christmas.
Happy Christmas to you all and please contact me direct with any questions, information, press requests, help or advice relating to French Sole either past or present.
I am longing to hear all your news, so please get in touch!