Calling all shoe lovers—especially fellow fashionistas with an affinity for flats. Award-winning footwear designer EILEEN SHIELDS has just launched her new line of environmentally-friendly ballet flats, designed in NYC in her East Village studio and hand-crafted in Tuscany, Italy. The relaunch of Eileen’s brand comes at the perfect time, as we abandon our house slippers and head back to the office, but wince at the thought of fitting our feet into high heels.
After a day last week when I did just that, I had the opportunity to try these ballet flats on, and please take my word for it—they are a must-buy. I took off my heels and like Cinderella, slid my foot into a slipper that felt so lovely I didn’t want to take it off. With samples from the new line laid out in front of me, I picked up each shoe and was shocked by the weightlessness of the supple, Italian leather. Although light as a feather, these shoes are substantial, and the details of the designs made my mind wander all the way to Tuscany, imagining the generations of experts whose hands carefully crafted these works of art.
The best part about this line is that it is sustainable. These shoes are environmentally-friendly, and EILEEN SHIELDS is a direct-to-consumer model, which means the shoes are slowly made. They make what is ordered, so nothing goes to waste. Even the packaging of the shoes is designed with intention. The box is Midnight Teal, with a subtle logo that blends into the background, easily reusable for gift packaging or to store your shoes in. Inside of the box is a black cloth wrap for the shoes that looks as elegant as what you would wrap your grandmother’s antique silver collection in. Perfect for packing your flats in a getaway suitcase or for chicly storing them in your closet, it is apparent that no stone was left unturned when it came to the entire experience of the EILEEN SHIELDS brand.
The EILEEN SHIELDS brand is about slow fashion, creating seasonless shoes and leather pieces, that are hand-crafted in Tuscany, Italy. Every piece has an element of grace & grit with exquisite craftsmanship combined with the ease and edginess of the street. Believing in fewer, better products, we are selling direct to the consumer in order to provide the highest quality with the most value.”
As someone who has made a conscious effort to stop buying fast fashion items and intentionally acquire fewer items that are either quality hand-me-downs, consigned couture, or investment pieces, I appreciate the EILEEN SHIELDS design philosophy and sustainability commitment immensely.
We use non-toxic, locally and ethically sourced natural materials, which use mostly plant-based or metal-free dyes. Further, our packaging is designed and produced for re-use or as a keepsake. We are committed to the welfare of the environment in the creation of each component of our products. We are striving to make them fully biodegradable, but while technology and the industry catches up with our needs, we define each component and where we are meeting this goal, today.”
The EILEEN SHIELDS direct-to-consumer e-commerce model allows for a considerably more attainable price point, and because the shoes are so well made they will last for many years, even if you wear them often. The shape of the shoes will always be in fashion because the designs are timeless. Personally, as a former dancer, a ballet flat evokes sentimental nostalgia and the comfort I felt from pairing these pretties with my pink pantsuit brought me uncontainable joy.
Born in New York, Eileen Shields grew up in Ireland and, after graduating from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, worked for Donna Karan International in New York for over a decade. She launched the EILEEN SHIELDS label in September 2004, which was sold in over 60 stores globally, with her own store and art gallery in Dublin. Shields also collaborated and produced the footwear collection for Zero+Maria Cornejo, whilst also working on the footwear collections for many New York clothing designers including Zac Posen, Michael Kors and Derek Lam.”
For the love of flats!
Click the images to shop EILEEN SHIELDS:
Shields won the Irish Tatler International Woman of the Year Award and was a finalist in the Fashion Group International New York – Rising Star Awards for Accessories. Returning to Donna Karan for several years in 2012 as VP of Footwear Design, Shields now, once again, has opened her own studio in the East Village NYC, working on newly engineered constructions using the direct-to-consumer model.”
On me: the MARY T-Strap – Nappa Dusty Pink/Blush/Tan
I think it’s safe to say that ELEANORA and EILEEN SHIELDS just might make the perfect pair…
Happy (Sustainable) Shopping,
This post was sponsored by Eileen Shields.