N E W S L E T T E R
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Friday, 11 November 2016
With fans including Alessandra Ambrosio, Kate Beckinsale and Jennifer Aniston, Fiorentini + Baker is a luxury footwear brand worth knowing. The vibe is rock ‘n’ roll and built to last. We chatted to founder and designer, Deborah Baker, to talk London style, Vivienne Westwood and sassy boots…
How did your career within the fashion industry begin? After I finished studying at Cordwainers College in London, I was offered a job with a design company in Italy, so it all progressed from there really. Unless we count my t-shirt stall in Camden market in the early eighties!
Who inspires you? So many. Vivienne Westwood is one of my favourites, not just for her creativity, but her personality. Anita Pallenberg, Keith Richards and David Bowie.
Your must-have from the current Fiorentini + Baker collection? Laverne Lena… an easy but sassy takes you everywhere boot.
Favourite place to relax? At home with my man, our dog and my good friends.
Can't live without... The aforementioned man, dog and friends, and unfortunately cigarettes.
Your proudest moment was? At Heathrow airport when mine and another identical pair of boots came out of the security x-ray. So a moment passed when the owner of the other boots and I looked and laughed and she said they were her favourite ever boots. I confessed I was the designer and we had a good laugh. She was an overseas reporter going somewhere dangerous, so I was also quite humbled by that.
What’s your morning ritual for a productive day ahead? Morning? I’m not such a morning person unfortunately, but when I’m good I walk with the dog up to the village bar for a coffee (a steep walk) and that bout of exercise usually makes for an energetic day. In London, I also try to combine a brisk walk with a nice coffee reward at the end of it.
Most stylish city? I think most places have style if you look for it, but London still contains the more eccentric and diverse stylish people. For me style isn’t about someone rich and beautiful in exquisite clothes, but the more casual portrayal of a personality.
Your perfect weekend includes… Good company, music and food. I enjoy a road trip.
Dream holiday destination? I really want to go to Buenos Aires … I get a little bored on the beach but really like to explore cities.
A tip for aspiring designers? Would you wear it? And would you go out on a date with someone wearing it? I think the hardest part of designing is the actual fitting, the silhouette, details and the choice of materials. Often a great design is lost because these things are overlooked. Although it is really competitive, I think there are loads of opportunities for designers in all areas. I feel the world is getting uglier sadly, but people in a beautiful place tend to feel and behave better. And the cost of good creative design is the same more-or-less than of banal or ugly design.