SIMONA RUSK shoes are wildly romantic, rich in symbolism, and rooted in craftsmanship. Offering a fresh perspective in luxury women’s shoes, they are designed with a slow fashion ethos and handcrafted using deadstock, sustainably produced brocades, or heritage fabrics woven in the UK.
The British brand’s distinctive aesthetic and slow fashion ethos has already attracted attention. Simona Rusk, the South African/Italian designer behind the eponymous brand, won Gold in the Global Footwear Awards 2020 and has been shortlisted for Draper’s Footwear Designer of the Year 2021.
With a background in Mathematics of Finance and a successful career in banking, the untimely death of her mother and her own serious illness spurred her desire to create shoes that would make the wearer feel both beautiful and confident. She quit her job and learnt to make shoes by hand before developing her first samples with a small family-owned factory in Italy.
Drawing on her love of art, history and interior design, Simona blends historical references with a modern sensibility. The delicate cameo brooch is exquisitely crafted by a master jeweller in Italy and is based on Simona’s own family heirloom. In Victorian times, these sentimental keepsakes were thought to bring good fortune to the wearer. The signature ornate heel is inspired by a ceiling rose. In Tudor times, a rose carved into the ceiling represented freedom of speech.
“I want my shoes to be a way for my customer to express what makes them unique and beautiful.”