Some shoes, particularly those with a dominant detail – a toe shape, an embellishment or a fastening, maybe – have the ability to look so right one season, yet so utterly wrong the next. Those by Berlin-based venture Aeyde (pronounced AD), however, look set to avoid this pitfall. This online-first line of shoes launched in 2015 with longevity of wear and quality its guiding principles, and the designs manage to look at once cool and classic. They are all clean and sculptural – what founders Luisa Krogmann and Constantin Langholz-Baikousis, who met while working at German online fashion retailer Zalando, call “evergreen”.
“We noticed there was a huge offering of top end and low end women’s shoes, but that high quality shoes in the middle were missing,” explains Krogmann. The pair set about sourcing factories in the Le Marche region of Italy that would produce shoes using their own specially designed lasts, then appointed Angelica di Gaeta, a Central Saint Martins graduate who previously worked at Jimmy Choo, as creative director.
The result this season is 15 sophisticated yet unfussy styles. Ankle boots (from €225) are a particular strongpoint, in ten different silhouettes of various heel heights and toe shapes. The current bestseller is Neil (€250), a classic Chelsea boot style available in black, bone or desert suede with a 4cm heel that extends just beyond the ankle with elastic side vents. Also with a 4cm heel is the chic, zip-up Naomi ankle boot (€225) in silver or black nappa leather and petrol suede, while the flat, over-the-knee Abby style (€325), comes in stretch velvet in “moody black”.
The shoe styles are equally versatile. On the high-heeled side of things are the square and blocky Georgia pumps (€195), available in classic black calf as well as ocean blue velvet and silver, and the pointy and high-cut Nola stilettos (€225) in a rusty shade of suede. Add to this variety the extremely reasonable prices, thanks to the direct-to-consumer business model, and the recent addition of half sizes, and its easy to see why the site’s customer base has grown swiftly, across Europe and in the US.