5 Minutes with Shoe Designer Charles Philip of Charles Philip Shanghai

By  March 20, 2013

I’m tiny in stature, but what I lack in height, I make up with heels–really high heels. Flats, to me, are a foreign concept so I welcomed the opportunity to chat with the master of flats, Charles Philip of Charles Philip Shanghai and get his suggestions for how women of all heights can enjoy his shoes.

Q: So, I am a short girl—4’11 to be exact—I would love to know how petite gals can wear flats stylishly?
A: CP’s work on short and tall girls alike. One of the great things about our flats is that they aren’t heavy or chunky. I think choosing the right print or material, which we offer in a variety becomes the point of consideration. If you’re wearing a skirt/dress, it’s best that the hemline isn’t too long, it should never really hit below the knee — you don’t want to shorten your legs by shortening the gap between your hemline and shoes. The same goes for pants — a nice way to show off a stylish flat and to elongate the leg is by wearing a pant that hits at the ankle or just below, bridging a gap between your clothes and your footwear. Moreover, it’s nice to keep things tonal in the sense that there should be some flow with the theme and color of your outfit and shoes, so as not look ‘chopped’ in half.
Q: How do ladies of any height find the perfect flat?
A: I think you really have to consider the shape of flat that suits your height. If a tall woman with large feet wears a long and pointed flat, it will accentuate her features rather than balance them. Charles Philip Shanghai shoes are an ideal bridge between a short, stubby shoe and a long, slender shoe. The aim is to create something for everyone — and with our signature silhouette and multitude of prints, we try to make it easy for all women to be able to find something in our collection.
Q: I imagine your shoes are like your children, so this maybe impossible, but do you have a favorite shoe that you’ve designed?
A: It’s really hard to pick my favorite shoe as we come out with at least 50 different SKU’s each season and they are all so stylish! But I have a sentimental attachment to my first collection which was mostly striped cotton and colorful linens. As you know, I am a big fan of stripes and really enjoyed the different striped variations that we selected for our first Spring Summer assortment.
Q: What tips do you have for dressing up flats so that they transition from the desk to drinks?
A: Flats are no longer a shoe considered solely for day dressing. So many chic women are wearing flats with dresses, elevated trousers and suits for example, on evenings out. Our shoes are very light, they aren’t overwhelmed with hardware and whether you choose a snake skin, velvet or something shinier like patent leather, they can easily go from day to night.  It’s all about the texture — if you’re wearing head to toe black, then you can throw on our black moc-croc to elevate your look.  Or else our gold shoe is a favorite for a neutral ensemble, or just to dress up a pair of jeans. I also love the very chic French girl look of a little cocktail dress paired with our flats for an evening — I see a lot of young European style icons doing it, along with industry veterans like Ines de la Fressange.
Q: What inspired your Spring 2013 collection?
A: My 2013 Spring/Summer collections was inspired by many different elements, but I mostly wanted to come out with prints that you seldom find on shoes. We therefore decided to digitally print kaleidoscope prints of butterflies, which are particularly delightful as from far it looks like a colorful pattern but then from up close you notice the wonderful arrangement of beautiful butterflies. We also made prints of feathers and flowers, which are perfect for a sunny carefree day.