Some of my all-time favourite shoes have been by a brand called Sigerson Morrison. Very early on in my New York City life I was introduced to its designers, Kari Sigerson and Miranda Morrison, and their super-stylish yet not super-girly creations instantly appealed. I still remember, two decades later, a pair of striped suede loafers I bought in their SoHo showroom. It was a financial stretch for a young editorial assistant, but I wore them to death.
Today Sigerson Morrison is owned by a larger entity and neither Sigerson nor Morrison are still involved. But last year Sigerson quietly launched a new brand called Alumnae with fellow ex-Sigerson Morrison worker Eliza Axelson-Chidsey. The line, made by small Italian factories in Tuscany, is described as having a “refined tomboy spirit”, and I couldn’t agree more. I met Sigerson recently at her Tribeca showroom (destined to become a boutique this summer) and loved everything I saw – from the 3-Bande block heel sandals ($595) in glorious green calfskin, to the flat Knotted sandals ($650) that wrap around the ankle in red suede, or in black, silver and bronze leather. Even the on-trend, criss-cross fur Turban sliders (from $950) spoke to me.
Yet it was something practical I desperately needed, and I settled on a pair of super-soft, black calfskin Smoking Slipper loafers ($525) – all the while eyeing up a pair of flat, criss-cross slip-on sandals (the Stitched Mignon slide, $475) in black with bronze and white accents. “Those are secretly very complicated to make,” admitted Sigerson, “with layered uppers of stitched mignon. It’s very fiddly handiwork, but worth it. They are so easy to wear; you slide them on and instantly feel put together, but not overdone.” And with that I was sold.