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Archive for the 'Style Icons' Category

Apr 11

Filling the Duchess of Cambridge’s Shoes: We Follow in Kate Middleton’s Footsteps around New Zealand & Australia

The first steps taken were in RED. Encountering the world’s press for the first time as they embarked on their Royal tour around New Zealand and Australia, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had us all hooked from the moment they stepped off the plane on Monday. We couldn’t help but be inspired by Kate’s elegant wardrobe and, as avid shoe designers on the hunt for new ideas, we’re designing a luxurious pair of Royal shoes with every step the Duchess of Cambridge makes on the tour. Design a pair of staple Kate suede court shoes – featured here in burgundy, cobalt blue and black, or take inspiration from her stylish wardrobe and design a Royal pair unique to you.

Day One: Military Lady

A striking classic to open the tour with, we loved how the lower part of Kate Middleton’s Catherine Walker coat billowed out skirt-like beneath a fitted, military jacket on day one, creating the perfect synergy between masculine and feminine, smart and elegant. Coupled with the classic Kate round toe court shoe in burgundy suede, the look was Royal, elegant and dynamic. We’ve created a classic brown suede platform court shoe, as well as a red pair with a dash of gold designed in a classic pointed court with an elegant D’Orsay cut.

Day Four: Baby Blue

A cornflower blue Alexander McQueen coat made Kate’s next iconic ensemble an instant hit with the fashion press, with peplum pockets adding a feminine flourish to an otherwise structured look. We love Kate’s classic suede court shoes, worn before at the 2011 tour of North America and lovingly re-created here in cobalt blue. Timeless sapphire earrings – believed to have been worn by Princess Diana – finished the look. Shop the Classic Kate Blue Suede Court Shoe.

Day Four: Silver Finishes

That sparkling shoulder dress has been the talk of the tour so far, with beautiful customized embroidery (silver ferns calling out the national emblem of New Zealand) catching our attention at the State Dinner. Feeling inspired by the silver finishes on Kate’s classic black ensemble, we’ve created a pair of evening platform shoes made from luxurious black suede, finished off with a silver Swarovski jewel. Customize your suede pumps with the emblem, jewel or finish of your choice, or keep it simple in not so little black heels, perfect for any occasion.

Day Seven: Colour Queen (in aquamarine)

A striking aquamarine dress by Emilia Wickstead made Kate a 1920′s screen siren as she and the Duke of Cambridge arrived to a traditional Maori welcome at Dunedin airport. The New Zealand born designer (now London based) is a favourite of Kate’s and, exuding timeless elegance in this teal masterpiece with a beautiful pleated skirt and long sleeves, we can definitely see why. Taking after the Queen, Kate is becoming quite the diplomatic dresser – with bespoke ferns embroidered on a classic Jane Taylor hat. Classic Kate brown suede platform pumps finished the look. We’ve taken inspiration from the Colour Queen’s love of aquamarine and designed a platform court in metallic teal leather with a shimmering turquoise platform and heel.

What will Kate be wearing next? Keep following this Blog and Facebook for more style updates and shoe design inspirations from the tour…

Start designing your shoes >

Image sources: Telegraph Instyle Popsugar ITV Daily Mail

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Dec 27

The height of style in low heels

It’s not easy being an ardent follower of fashion when you stand as tall as 6’4” and have large size 44 feet (UK 10.5 / US 12.5). US fashion blogger Kacy Karlen shares her frustrations to find fashion that fits and how she has managed to satiate her style hunger …

1. Tell us a little about yourself ?

Hello there, I’m Kacy, and I’m the voice behind The Height of Style, a style blog for tall women—and soon—tall men, too. HoS is my labor of love and complements my freelance work as a fashion stylist, but I work by day as an Associate Creative Director at a small content marketing agency called Captains of Industry in Boston, Massachusetts.

2. Why was the motivation behind your blog?

Admittedly, I’ve had a lot of false starts and early stops with blogging. From 2008 to 2011, I started a comic blog, an urban biking blog, and a mainstream fashion blog. While each of these blog topics momentarily captured my writerly curiosity, none of the underlying stories were intimate enough for me to sustain. As I laid the third of these to rest in 2011, I thought about the first adage I had learned as a writer— “write what you know.” As I’m 6’4” and perpetually fashion-hungry, a style blog for tall women seemed like a story that I could continuously unfold. Two years later, I am still (happily) working to make The Height of Style the most comprehensive style advice column and recommendation forum for high quality tall apparel and accessories.

3. How would you describe your personal style?

Mercurial! But I always fall somewhere on the feminine side of the spectrum, though not too frou-frou. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more aware of aesthetic balance. I’m particularly tall and curvy, so too feminine looks costume-y and age-inappropriate. I feel most comfortable in fitted dresses and edgy heels, with at least one truly androgynous accessory (often my pixie haircut).

4. What’s your relationship with shoes?

Like most women, I adore shoes. But the challenge is that unlike most women, I can never be sure that I can find a stylish pair of shoes that fit when no clothing fits either. As a tall, larger-footed woman, shoe shopping can either be okay (when I find a semi-stylish shoe that fits and buy it every colorway) or disappointing (when my options are a clog and a unisex trainer). Historically, the selection of women’s size 12s/13s has been abysmal, at best. I spent my youth in men’s sneakers and Birkenstock clogs because those were the best options in my size. That’s why Upper Street’s bespoke model is so compelling to me—offering women up to a size 44 the option to design their own shoes with an array of premium fabrications and design elements is just phenomenal.

5. What do you like about the Cairns low heel style?

The design of the Cairns low heel is perfect for my aesthetic. I simply have not seen any shoe that looks like it it off the runway, at a reasonable price. I love the velvet heel detail and strap, the mirror leather front strap and sole, and the fact that the shoe is singularly arresting, while also being comfortable enough to walk and dance in. I often choose lower heels for evenings out, as I hate to be glued to a stool or couch because I can’t walk in precariously high heels. With this style, ‘flattering, comfortable, and elegant’ isn’t oxymoronic.

6 What did you think of your shoes when you received them?

The experience of opening a pink bow bedecked black Upper Street box was just wonderful—and it is indeed an experience, not just a delivery. It’s probably a bit embarrassing to fall in love a little bit with a shoe, but I did when I pulled the Cairns and the posh Upper Street velvet shoebag from the box.

7. Have you worn your shoes yet?

I most certainly have! Already to one fashion event with a black and plum velvet dress, out to dinner paired with my updated take on a tuxedo, and I plan to wear them with black sequin and silver jacquard shifts for two upcoming holiday parties.

8. Can you give us your recommendations for a party outfit pairing with the Cairns low heel sandal?

In the case of the Cairns, any outfit that lets the design of the shoe shine! Because of the ankle strap, dresses and skirts are the obvious picks—I think this shoe would look just stunning with a leopard print dress and gunmetal earrings. Additionally, with the many cropped cigarette pants available this season, I think the Cairns would look equally fabulous with a jacquard, jewel- tone cropped trouser, statement necklace, and a fitted black angora sweater.

Kacy wears the Cairns low heel sandal from the exclusive ‘Upper Street by Nicole Smallwood‘ large size collection (sizes 40-44). This style is available in 2 different heel heights. Alternatively, have yours made-to-order in the size or material of your choosing! Contact us to tell us how you’d like yours.

Upper Street – the made-to-order luxury shoe label where you can design your own shoes and have them delivered right to your door.

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Nov 8

1 Shoe, 3 Bloggers, 3 Unique Designs

To celebrate the launch of Upper Street’s November pop-up at Polkadot Boutique, three of Hong Kong’s favorite fashion bloggers give the Ridgway pointed court their unique style spin. The result?… 3 totally different and totally amazing knock-out party shoes..


Sophisticated with a touch of the unexpected, Emily designs her pair in tactile black calf hair with a contrast purple leopard heel.  These shoes will take transition seamlessly from office to bar.  Meet the girl about town and read how she’ll be pairing her super sleek heels this winter>>

SABRINA SIKORA from Sassy Hong Kong

Top fashion photographer Sabrina chose emerald metallic leather to create a statement shoe that is both bold and fun. These shoes know where the party is happening. Read how Sabrina, herself bold and fun, would style these showstoppers >>

JASMINE SMITH from Dress me Blog.me

Fiery and exotic red patent was Jasmine’s choice for a shoe that shouts sexy femininity. These shoes are certainly not taking a back seat this party season. Meet the uber-glamorous Jasmine and read how her shoes were inspired by her current obsession with red lipstick. >>


The bloggers have all customized the Ridgway court with sexy cut out sides and high heel. Available in 3 different heel heights, this style can be purchased ready-to-wear in black velvet from the exclusive ‘Upper Street by Nicole Smallwood’ large size collection (sizes 40-44). Alternatively, have yours made-to-order in the size or material of your choosing!  Contact us to tell us how you’d like yours.

Upper Street – the made-to-order luxury shoe label where you can design your own shoes and have them delivered right to your door.

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Nov 8

Party-Ready Metallic Green Showstoppers

Multi talented  Sabrina Sikora, is amongst other things a regular fashion writer for Hong Kong’s leading lifestyle website Sassy Hong Kong. Sabrina shares her inspiration behind her bold metallic green design and how she’ll be styling these sassy heels

Tell us a little about yourself

Hello! I am Sabrina Sikora and I love all things fashion! I am originally from Macon, Georgia, USA but started travelling at the age of 15 to pursue a modeling career. Modeling afforded me the opportunity to travel the world, living and working in such cities as New York, Shanghai, Milan, Miami, Los Angeles, and now Hong Kong! During this adventure, I discovered a deep love of photography and now work as a professional photographer shooting fashion, families, and everything Sassy! I am best known as the “tall girl with the big camera” and you can typically find me wandering around Central in massive heels and tons of jingly accessories in search of great photos and sugary treats!

Check out Sabrina’s photography on her website Sabrina Sikora Photography.

How would you describe your personal style?

My personal style is bold! I love big prints, bright colors, tons of accessories, and layers upon layers! I’m 6′ tall so I figure for something to show up on me it has to be big as tiny accessories seem to just get lost! I’m always looking for that stand out piece to add to the wardrobe. I have a vision in my head of my grandchildren raiding my wardrobe shrieking and saying “Grandma, you used to wear this?!?” Iris Apfel is my sartorial hero!

What’s your relationship with shoes?

Shoes, oh shoes! I have huge feet and not many places sell size 11′s (UK 9 / 42)  so I figure that if it comes in my size that I must own it! This leads to quite the conundrum when figuring out how to store them in HK’s limited wardrobe spaces! I have long dreamed of having shoes made in HK but have only been satisfied with one pair that I have had done. That is until I tried on my Upper Street shoes! They were super comfy right off the bat and I loved the attention to detail on both the outside of the shoe and the insole. The quality of the leather on the finished product is beautiful and it looks like it will stretch and wear really well! I’m so excited that this brand has landed in HK!

What was the inspiration behind your design?

I was looking for a shoe that I couldn’t find in stores. Why have a classic pair made when those are the easiest to buy off the shelf? I wanted a real party shoe- one that I would be excited to wear and excited to show off! Plus, pretty much all the media previews I attended for shoe brands featured metallics. These metallic green show-stoppers will certainly up the ante come Christmas!

Have you always wanted a shoe this style or was it an impulsive choice?

I can’t say that I have always wanted a shoe like this but I have certainly been thinking of what would be a fun addition to the wardrobe for this upcoming holiday season. As soon as I saw that green metallic leather as an option it spoke to me. I kept trying to talk myself into a neutral snakeskin or leopard (yes, leopard is a neutral in my book) but the green just had a hold on me and wouldn’t let go!

What did you think of your shoes when you received them?

Pure elation! Bold, bright, and shiny shoes made just for me that fit my big feet!

When do you plan to first wear your shoes?

Events are always popping up on the calendar as HK is such a bustling town so even though I don’t have an immediate party planned that doesn’t mean one won’t pop up in the weeks to come! My mom is coming out for Christmas and I plan to take her to the Nutcracker Ballet so I figure these will be the perfect pairing for the festive night out! Of course, I’m sure I will find many more reasons to wear them in the weeks leading up to that though!

How would you style your outfit to go with these shoes?

One would think that with such a bold shoe that you should keep the outfit simple and that is certainly one option. My perfect outfit, though, would be the black and white checkered suit that I scored at Topshop when they opened. I am also looking for a great pair of ripped boyfriend jeans to pair with a fun graphic t-shirt, a bedazzled jacket, and then these shoe-stunners below!


Sabrina has customized the Ridgway court with sexy cut out sides and high heel. Available in 3 different heel heights, this style can be purchased ready-to-wear in black velvet from the exclusive ‘Upper Street by Nicole Smallwood‘  large size collection (sizes 40-44). Alternatively, have yours made-to-order in the size or material of your choosing!  Contact us to tell us how you’d like yours.

Upper Street – the made-to-order luxury shoe label where you can design your own shoes and have them delivered right to your door.

Photos by Martice Milton, Eyes Like a Shutter, Mind Like a Lens!

Last photo by Sabrina Sikora

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