Watch Cobblers Make Your Own Customizable Shoes at Designer Charles Philip's New Flagship Store
In 2010 designer Charles Philip had a white and blue striped shirt made into a shoe by a cobbler in Shanghai, China, and the rest is history. Since that day, Philip and his design partner Sheila Pitigala have been building a footwear brand known for its signature loafers. The fresh slipper silhouette comes from some of their favorite elements—the formality of the English gentry slipper combined with the ease of the Moroccan babouche. Available in a plethora of new-age stripes, textured fabrics like velvet and leather, along with vibrant prints and colors, the brand's shoes have found fans in celebrities like Jessica Alba and Rihanna, and we love them too!
Charles Philip has just opened their new flagship boutique in the heart of the French District in Shanghai, which is an exciting step forward for the label. Designed by architect Paolo Giachi, the space features a unique layout and aesthetic that blends the modern with a touch of vintage elegance. Classic Charles Philip stripes adorn the walls, and a verticle garden is encased with the shop. "It is this wonderful clash of the old world with a modern sensibility," Charles Philip tells InStyle. The location also houses the Charles Philip design studio headquarters, as well as a bespoke workshop where shoppers can customize shoes and watch them be crafted before their very eyes. "There is a glass enclosed room in the center of the space that offers the bespoke service, so shoppers can see the collection and watch the cobblers making their shoes," Philip says. "Upstairs is our office, all glass as well, so they can see us working too. It really makes it an experience for the shopper. It’s always fun to see how a product is being made."
Their latest collection represents a new path for the brand: moving beyond their signature loafer. "We have always only made the slippers, and this season we decided to expand the range to include sneakers and lace-ups," Philip tells us. "I think sneakers are the trend for spring." Other additions include pointy-toed shoes, a beautiful floral pattern, and bolder colors. However, the brand will also offer styles in their traditional stripe. "The stripes have always been part of our DNA. We will always have that element," the designer shares. As for the inspiration behind the line? "We wanted this international vision of a woman that travels around the world to come through in the collection, a woman who is fun and young with an international spirit," states Philip.
To learn more about the brand and pick up a pair of their beloved flats for yourself, visit charlesphilipshanghai.com.
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