Heel Thyself

Local gal Rosie Ildemaro chats about designing couture shoes. PLUS: Beach-inspired baubles for you and your home and gifts for dad.

Rosie Ildemaro talks about the art of designing couture (and comfortable) footwear.

D: What inspired you to become a shoe designer?
All my life I had custom clothes but never found a place to get shoes. I love shoes, and I wanted to do something that I loved.

Where did you study?
Ars Arpel in Milan, Italy, where I learned foot molds, formulas, leathers, and the art of bespoke in 2004.

Why Dallas?
No one else does it here, and it’s a great city with great people. They march to the beat of their own drum. It’s easy and comfortable to work from here.

Why should someone choose a custom shoe over store-bought?
Exclusivity, fit, comfort, and originality. Every shoe is born; it’s not waiting on a shelf to be purchased. It’s made on your foot, to the dimensions of your feet. This really helps if you have two different sized feet, high arches, skinny or muscular calves (for a boot). I can make something around your needs and wants.

Explain the process.
First I meet with the person at her home in order to be in her environment, to see her shoes, how she dresses, etc. Then I take about five measurements per foot to form a cast. The client chooses the fabric and color. From there, I sketch the design of the shoe, get approval, and start working on the final product. I will meet with the customer as little as once or as much as five times . The shoe will be ready in about eight weeks. It takes less time if he or she is a returning customer, about five to six weeks.

What influences your designs?
Every design has a different purpose. My influences range from people to old movies and vintage books (specifically from the 1940s and ’50s) to skins and fabrics that I see.

What kind of fabrics do you use?
I work with a lot of exotic skins, like teju lizard, hornback alligator, ostrich foot, reptiles, stingrays, and croc. The 4-inch stiletto is my
signature style.

Who is your favorite shoe designer?
Alaia and YSL, especially when Tom Ford was there.

Who is your customer?
They tend to be accomplished women or men who know what they want.

To reach Rosie, call 214-325-9310 or go to www.shoesofcourse.com. Prices start at $800 and go up, depending on design and skin.


Presents for Papa
Shop these local haunts for the latest duds for Dad.

The Art of Shaving
(13350 Dallas Pkwy. 972-702-9640) recently opened its first Texas stand-alone store at Galleria Dallas. Shop here for grooming goods such as shaving creams, balms, lotions, and engraved razor sets. For the hunter and adventurer, Beretta Gallery (41 Highland Park Village. 214-559-9800) is offering two exclusive hunting trips to Hungary: stag (Sep 8-16) or driven pheasant and flighted duck (Oct 28-Nov 4). Price: $1,975-$9,975. Breitling recently added three new timepieces to its collection, including the Flying B Breitling for Bentley, the Airwolf, and the Bentley Motors T chronograph. Pick one up at Bachendorf’s (13350 Dallas Pkwy. 972-392-9900) in the Galleria for $3,750-$124,000. Now he has no excuse not to be on time.

HAUTE STUFF: Visit Galleria
Dallas for a razor set from
The Art of Shaving and a
Breitling Flying B at Bachendorf’s.

Photos by Elizabeth Lavin


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