By Eleanora Morrison
If you are a devoted follower of the British royal family, or you keep up with Her Royal Highness Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, chances are favorable that you are familiar with Sarah Flint shoes whether you realize it or not. An established luxury footwear designer with laser-focused entrepreneurial vision from a very young age, Flint founded her namesake shoe line at just 25 years old in 2013. Now aged 30, her shoes have made a steady stream of heavy-hitting headlines, and her line is only continuing to gain notoriety internationally.
Between mega-famous celebrities who sport her timeless styles in their daily lives such as Amal Clooney, Blake Lively, Lady Gaga, Kristen Stewart, Jane Fonda and her recently announced business mentor-turned-investor Cindy Crawford, Flint is on her way to becoming a household name known for original design, premium quality and true luxury: sold directly to the consumer without the traditional six-time retail markup pricing. Flint shares on entrepreneurship, creative direction, how she got her start, and why she Walks Like A Woman…
EM: Did you always know you wanted to become a shoe designer? How did you get your start in the industry?
SF: I’ve known that I wanted to be a shoe designer and start my own business since I was young. I’ve always been very focused on that goal, and started sketching and working in retail before attending FIT to study accessories design. I apprenticed at Diane von Furstenberg and Proenza Schouler, and after graduation moved to Milan to learn pattern making at Ars Sutoria. In 2013, when I was 25, I launched Sarah Flint.
EM: What defines your personal style, in fashion and in the way live your daily life?
SF: I believe in style without sacrifice. Women should not have to sacrifice feeling good for looking good, and this guides both my personal style and my brand ethos.
EM: Which woman in your life embodied timeless elegance, and how has that influenced the way you ‘Walk Like A Woman?’
SF: Cindy Crawford is the epitome of both grace and power, and I have been lucky enough to learn from her over the past year. She is an amazing resource to me as I navigate owning and running a business.
EM: What has been the most rewarding outcome of entrepreneurship?
SF: It is incredibly rewarding for me to create shoes for my customers that might make their lives better, and to shape my brand in a way that celebrates and embraces every aspect of being a woman.
EM: With international public figures such as Cindy Crawford and HRH The Duchess of Sussex (Meghan Markle) publicly associating with your brand, how do you and your team stay grounded while you continue to rise to notoriety?
SF: No matter who my client is, from businesswomen to celebrities to my own friends and family, I always have the same goal: to design shoes that are both functional and beautiful. Having that sense of focus keeps me and my team in touch with our customer, which is absolutely the most important thing to me.
EM:Where do you find your inspiration when you hit a creative roadblock?
SF: I live in New York City, which is always an amazing source of inspiration. I try to take design days as often as I can, and find that getting out of the office and exploring the city unlocks new ideas. I also love to travel for inspiration, both to new places and places that I revisit time and again, like Italy and Scotland. My recent collection is inspired by the Scottish Highlands, its landscape and rich history.
EM: What is the Sarah Flint relationship with Italy, and how has it set your shoes apart from other brands?
SF: All of our shoes are hand crafted in Italy at factories that are family-owned, with artisans that practice techniques passed down through generations. My shoes are inspected each step of the way with care and pride. This attention to detail and unparalleled craftsmanship is reflected in the quality of each shoe, in each detail.
EM: What are some expectations and/or pressures that consumers don’t always think about when your product and business share your personal brand?
SF: Everything associated with my brand has my name on it. I have to be sure each step of the way that what is represented matches what I believe, and what I want my brand to stand for. Luckily, I have an amazing team both here in New York and at the factories in Italy who understand, support, and enrich my vision every day.
Connect with Sarah Flint at SarahFlint.com, and follow her company and designs on Instagram @sarahflint_nyc.
Edited from an interview by Eleanora Morrison.