Personalised Made-To-Measure Shoes from Selve
Published 7 December 2010
Selve, the luxury shoe individualiser originally from Germany, has been operating in England since 2004, but I actually had not heard about them until very recently. Once I found out about their custom-made, semi-bespoke shoes though I was absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity of attending this event.
Selve held their latest Trunk Show on the 25th and 26th November at St. James Hotel and Club in Mayfair. Although the event was open to everyone (both men and women), you did have to book an appointment in advance.
As soon as I got in I was welcomed in by the Selve staff and I could see the glorious display of shoes to my right. It certainly wasn’t what I had expected, I was expecting there to be lots of other people around looking at their range of shoes, trying them on but no, it was just me and the designers at Selve. And that’s the way Selve prefer it to be: small, informal and personal. As Selve have no permanent base or shop in London these events are the only way that the Selve designers get to meet their customers, and by having these one-on-one meetings they can really gauge what their clients are looking for and what styles work best for them.
The first step in the process was to get the measurements for my feet. I tried on a number of different shoes of different sizes and widths until I had the perfect match. I also had the chance to discuss any minor foot problems I had for which the shoemakers would need to make allowances for. For those that have particularly problematic feet Selve have their own hand held 3D scanner, which scans the feet (and calves – if you’re looking to buy boots) to generate a virtual 3D image, which can be used to create the perfect made-to-measure shoes or boots.
Once the entire measurement taking was out the way, the fun part came in! The next step was all about picking out what style of shoe I liked and then customising it to suit me. There are so many different ways of personalising your Selve shoes. You have the option of choosing which material to use; there were a number of different types of suede and leather materials (from Italy, France and even Austria) to choose from in their collection. There was a large selection of different colours to choose from, you can decide to have the whole shoe in one colour or if you’re feeling extremely daring to have every part in a different colour or shade! You also choose the heel length and heel type (wedge, stiletto, block, kitten heel to name but a few). In addition, you have the added option of whether you want to add any decorative features such as studs, crystals or sole-embellishments to your shoes. If you’re more into practical shoes you also have the option of soles with extra grip on them (perfect for the snowy weather!).
As an example of how shoes can be customized by Selve, here are a number shoes with the same basic style (Moon) but each one has been customised differently:
The customisation aspect is an especially great option if you have bought a new outfit and need the perfect matching shoes to go with it, but Selve have taken it one step further you in that you can also buy matching bags from them that compliment your shoes:
To buy Selve shoes you do have attend one of their Trunk shows first in order to have your measurements and fittings carried out. However, after the initial appointment all orders can be taken through their website or via telephone. I do believe that coming to the event is well worth the effort as Selve’s unique concept gives the wearer the opportunity of owning a one-of-a-kind piece of footwear.
An added bonus is that as all Selve footwear is built to last, each item comes with a six months guarantee which means Selve will be happy to repair them if they are damaged during that time. In addition, the fitting and 3D scanning are carried out free of charge (although if you want to save the results of your 3D scan for future use you will have to pay a one off fee).
The downside to having your very own handmade, personalised footwear is once all the measurements have been taken, the shoe completely personalised and ordered, you will not get the actual shoe for up to five weeks, as the actual shipping and production of the shoe can take a while. Prices of the shoes usually range between £300 – £400.
I really enjoyed my experience at Selve, and I really felt that the whole appointment revolved around me and what I wanted. Each appointment lasts about one hour so I didn’t feel at all rushed and there was absolutely no pressure to buy on the day, which resulted in a comfortable, relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.