How a 1-Year-Old Shoe Brand Won Over Bella Hadid and Selena Gomez
As 2016 begins to winds down, we can’t help but think about everything that’s possibly happened within the last 12 months. We imagine Jane Frances is feeling the same, as the British designer only launched stateside with her footwear brand, Dear Frances, less than a year ago. Since then, she’s already landed on the feet of Selena Gomez, Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and so many more fashion girls that we’ve simply lost track.
More recently, in the midst of Frances’s efforts to launch her very first resort collection, we caught up with the designer to get the scoop from her about what makes her styles so loved. We sensed that it could have something to do with the brand’s penchant for sturdier heels and the cool offerings as far as colors and textures. Plus, with the Resort 17 designs currently available for preorder, we also suspected it’s tied to this British label’s ability to bring quirky, personal details to its work, namely visible dried flowers within the heels of the vacation-ready styles. But as we found out, Frances has some theories of her own—not to mention a lot of exciting room to grow.
Scroll on for our interview and to shop the Resort 17 collection now.
WHO WHAT WEAR: Congrats on all your success in such a short amount of time! Which principles do you credit for the brand meteoric rise?
JANE FRANCES: Thank you! I’ve always stayed true to my instincts and to the aesthetic that comes most naturally to me, which is that of classic silhouettes with a focus on detail, texture, and tone. It’s important to find the balance of instinct versus influence, so I’m always conscious of maintaining our refined aesthetic and moving it forward with seasonal color palettes and textural details. Our collections are also about telling a story, creating a mood, and I love developing these stories through imagery and other visual representation.
WWW: Why do you think celebrities have been loving your designs? What are some personal favorite Dear Frances siting from this past year?
JF: It’s important to me that each of our designs be versatile, easy to wear, and easy to style. I think all of these things, combined with modern details, makes our shoes different and identifiable and offers a unique style, which celebrities and style influencers seem to love. My personal favorite moment still has to be Bella Hadid rocking her Spirit Boots in London, as she always does! And I would love to see Christy Turlington wear Dear Frances—she is elegant, intelligent, and a great muse of mine.
WWW: We’re loving the prominence of a stacked, thicker heel on your shoes. Why do you think this more comfortable, more walkable style is so popular right now?
JF: As our lives get busier, women are looking for more practical footwear options, which they can wear all day and through into night. As a result, there’s much more experimentation happening with block and midheight heels, and it’s certainly taken off in the past few seasons. I love working with this style! I wear block heels all the time, so it’s nice to design from a very personal point of view.
WWW: Tell us a bit about your first foray into resort.
JF: We had a lot of fun designing the resort collection! Resort was inspired by the European coast, a place I had spent a lot of time while planning the collection, and I was interested in experimenting with brighter, bolder colors than past seasons. You can see beautiful summer colors throughout, such as sea blues, corals, and sand. Many styles also took inspiration from my experiences on the coast, like hand-woven slides referenced from boater hats, tortoiseshell prints, natural beach grasses, and intricate coral designs. This season also features dried flower petals sealed into the heels of the Spirit Boots and new Eva Mules.
WWW: After such a killer first year, are there any exciting projects Dear Frances is working on in the future that you can share, like entering new categories or debuting new styles?
JF: We have so much more we want to do with shoes! So that remains our focus for now. However, the relaxed and uncomplicated style of Dear Frances certainly opens the label to other ventures and bags seem a natural fit … certainly a path we are open to exploring in the future.
Not ready for resort weather just yet? Shop the best of winter shoe styles as well.