Style & Substance
Emirates Woman|July/August 2021
With a focus on slowing fashion down, Dear Frances is the footwear brand delivering along with sleek and sophisticated styles
LUCY RUTHERFORD

Founded by Jane Frances in 2013, the UK-based brand has gone from strength-to-strength and is now loved by some of the biggest names in the industry.

What inspired you to go into the fashion industry? A great passion for fabrics, texture and tone. I was drawn to footwear design during my studies when I developed a particular interest in architecture and furniture design. Each of these studies lends itself naturally to shoe design and I quickly fell for the more sculptural and technical side of footwear. In a sense, shoe design is like architecture for the foot – it requires a strong technical understanding and from the very beginning I wanted to know more, I was fascinated by the detail and precision involved and really threw myself into the artisan production process.

How did launching your own brand come about? I always wanted to start my own label and had been interested in branding and creative development from a young age. After my studies, I worked with a footwear factory in Italy, where I learned the age-old techniques of Italian shoe production from some of the most experienced artisans in the country. It was through this process that I truly refined my own style and noticed a need in the market for quality classics with a refined, modern simplicity. I focused on the quality of materials and craftsmanship, offering pared-back and versatile styles, which can be worn from day through to night.

How do you ensure quality craftsmanship remains integral? Quality is central to our ethos. All Dear Frances shoes are made by hand at a family-owned and operated factory in Italy. They, like us, are passionate about the process involved in ensuring equal care goes into every pair we make. Emphasis is on classic design with a modern twist and always using the finest Italian leathers and craftsmanship. The materials range from supple kid leathers and soft‚ suedes to natural wood and high-quality Perspex, to the more modern mesh and intricate weaves.

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