The fashion industry has a reputation of being the most competitive of all, and the fashion crowd the hardest to please. But shoe designer Sarah Flint
, who launched her namesake shoe line in late 2013, seems to have won over even the hardest critics – her line is quickly gaining critical acclaim from the press; her shoes are stocked in all-the-more high-end places; her celebrity fan base is rapidly growing, let alone Forbes included her in the prestigious Forbes “30 Under 30” for Art & Style list in 2014.
Boston-raised Flint knew that a career in fashion was the path she was meant to take from the age of 15, when she asked for a job at a luxury store near her home. She was hired several months later – she was constantly rejected because of her young age – and eventually, while a student at Parsons, she became an assistant buyer. She spent a year in Parsons, then moved to FIT to focus on accessories, and picked up the skills in pattern-making and prototyping at Ars Sutoria in Milan.
After completing her studies and garnering valuable experience interning at Diane von Furstenberg and Proenza Schouler, Flint decided the time was right to establish her own company. She recruited a team of experienced fashion industry professionals – Tracy Smith, former head of global sales at Cole Haan, pattern-maker Richard Siccardi, Edgar Huber, Land’s End chief executive, and Desiree Gruber, an executive producer of “Project Runway” – and launched her first capsule collection.
Through her line, Flint aims to bring back the understated elegance that she feels has been missing from the shoes you typically come across at shopping malls. For the young designer, sensuality lies in simplicity and sophistication is achieved through subtlety and attention to detail. Her classic silhouettes are inspired by the 1940s – some of the shoes in her collection, such as the “Havilland” and “Lamarr” are named after ’40s actresses – and the timeless style of Bostonian women. She is also a fan of Japanese origami, a technique she frequently uses as a decorative ornament in many models but with a fresher, younger feel.
Discreet heels, loafers, pointy-toe flats and kitten heels are crafted with high-quality materials like suede, calfskin, cappretto, nappa and stingray leather using traditional Italian manufacturing methods. All shoes are handmade in Italy, just outside Milan, in the same factory that makes shoes for Manolo Blahnik and Oscar de la Renta.
Flint has made an impressive debut and is headed towards a promising future. Ultimately, she plans to expand and include under the same label a wide range of accessories, like small leather goods and handbags, and create an enduring luxury brand that puts quality and effortless elegance at its core.