Elizabeth and James Shoes
Considering the huge success of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's Elizabeth and James' clothing line and jewelry collaboration with Robert Lee Morris, it's no wonder that the impossibly chic and incredibly savvy twosome have decided to expand their brand into yet another area of accessory territory: footwear. For this maiden voyage, they created a well-edited line of sandals, flats, and heels that are flawless for transitional dressing as well as for the warmer months to come. Designed by the diminutive duo and produced by Steve Madden, the resulting pieces are beautifully crafted (the Elizabeth and James' creative team used only the finest Italian leathers), versatile (the Olsens opted for a neutral tones to maximize their wearability), and reasonably priced (considering the quality of the materials used)-we wouldn't expect any less from these stylish siblings! Needless to say, the inaugural Elizabeth and James shoe collection is most definitely a Line We Love to love.
If you're wondering about the motivation behind these spectacular specimens, look no further, dear readers, because we went straight to the sources to get the backstory! As you might have guessed, the line was originally conceived to compliment the casual-chic aesthetic of Elizabeth and James clothing (which it does, wonderfully). That said, it's also a very intimate project, as many of the styles are inspired by the Olsens' favorite pairs from their personal collections. Today's story shows off a few of the fantastic results-complete with styling tips from Mary-Kate and Ashley themselves-which are just hitting stores now. Read on for more details about the shoes themselves, as well as suggested outfit pairings, inspired by the designers' directions!
The Olisa Heel ($295)
For our first selection, we have The Olisa Heel. This sophisticated peep-toe is very au courant, while the double straps hit at the perfect part of the ankle. The stiletto heel and exposed arch also give them a touch of femininity that we find remarkably irresistible. While Ashley would wear this with any type of skirt, we think it would look particularly posh with Adam's Ombre Stripe Circle Skirt ($295).
The Haley Sandal ($325)
Wedges are always great for summer events, as they keep you from sinking into the grass (damn you stilettos!) Thankfully, some of our favorite designers featured a substantial wedge base heel this season, such as Azzedine Alaia and Miu Miu. The Haley is ideal to go with your favorite pair of wide-legged trousers-try Anlo's Liza Trouser Jean ($297)-while the structural leather T-strap would add a tough accent to a printed summer skirt.
The Stock Moccasin Flat ($295)
We like to think that we, too, would look chic-as-can-be luxuriating around the house or running out for a morning coffee in these amazing flats à la Ashley. With a sole that literally molds to your foot, and a shape that is reminiscent of a classic driving shoe, these will absolutely be our go-to pick for an off-duty weekend!
The Edge Gladiator Sandal ($295)
While vacationing in Greece, the Olsens discovered a perfect pair of gladiators with heavy straps and slightly inclined heel. The resourceful business partners noticed that despite the style's popularity, nothing on the market managed to look like their beloved Grecian goodies. The reinterpreted style, called The Edge, also comes in black leather (as seen on Mary-Kate, above) and, as the style icon suggests, are the perfect pair to wear with a tunic for a daytime excursion, or with a flirty frock-we suggest Elizabeth and James' Tulip Dress ($495)-for a warm night on the Mediterranean or elsewhere.
The Jean Bootie ($395)
The Jean Bootie (available June 2nd on shopbop.com) may tip the scales as the priciest of the bunch, but believe us when we say it is well worth the price. The supple suede and ostrich material make these the most luxurious piece in the line, and will look fashionable well into the F/W 09 season. Always the risk-taker, Mary-Kate would wear these beauties with a pair of her favorite jean shorts (try Current/Elliott's Boyfriend Cut Off Shorts ($187) in Super Loved Destroy if you are still lacking this summer closet staple). Additionally, we suggest styling the killer ankle boots with your favorite harem pants or skinny jeans!-KM
Photo of Mary Kate Olsen, from Pacific Coast News.