May 04 2010
I’ve always liked the idea of wearing basketball-type trainers, and indeed had a flirtation with bright purple high-top Converse shoes at university. But I’ve never found them comfortable or supportive enough for the demands of modern life.
Then a few seasons ago I discovered Ash trainers in an online shop – an Italian stealth brand created by designer Patrick Ithier in 2001. Last summer, when I met up with a stylist friend I hadn’t seen for a year, I noticed that she was wearing a pair too, and I realised that perhaps they weren’t the “secret” I thought they were. Now of course there’s a Marylebone High Street flagship store and the word is well and truly out.
I now buy a couple of pairs every season, usually in leather or suede with embossing or studding details. Because they’re leather-lined, well padded, and extremely well made (in Italy), they are slipper-comfortable, but substantial enough for days of walking around town. Also, because they're not too horribly trendy (though still with nods to current trends), they’re smart enough – paired with a trouser suit – for work appointments.
This season’s look is principally about denim – which is again a bit too studenty for me. I do however like the Volcan white version (pictured, £105) of their signature style.