Amanda Spackman, ELLE
Shoe designer Emily Cooper sure has a way with a wingtip. Now here’s one for the girls
When it comes to creating cult-worthy shoes, Australiaborn, LA-based Emily Cooper has all the credentials.
She’s the epitome of cool with her androgynous style, pixie cut, heavily inked passport and contacts list brimming with fashionable friends. She also has her very own shoe company, Meandher, and a cracking formula for the perfect brogue. Her motto: keep it simple.
When Cooper established her label three years ago it focused on menswear, with just a few straightforward styles in interesting leathers, textures and colours. Now it’s time for the girls. “Friends kept asking for the men’s shoes in women’s sizes, so I decided to launch a womenswear line this season,” she says. And with the brand’s name a combination of the words “me and her” it made perfect sense.
“I refined the male shoe into a more feminine silhouette and the lady-brogue was born.” They’re now the go-to shoe of British model Poppy Delevingne. “She does the most incredible styles in leopard print, gold, silver and two-tone – I’m living in them at the moment,” says Delevingne. The pair first met after the model “crashed” Cooper’s 30th birthday party in LA last year and a firm friendship followed, leading to Delevingne stepping up as the face of the SS14 collection. Her effortlessly chic look and love of the label made her the obvious choice as its face. “It came up in conversation over a Chinese meal in London one night,” says Cooper, laughing.“A few spins of the lazy Susan and the deal was done.”
Cooper produces all her footwear in Europe, and time spent at the International Technical Institute of Art of Footwear and Leather Goods (Arssutoria) in Milan endowed her with a wealth of respect for the tradition of shoemaking. But when it comes to styling a mannish brogue, she insists an irreverent approach is key. “Pair them with something pretty… try a shift dress, or silk blouse and cropped floral pants, with some gem-encrusted jewellery, a floppy hat and bright lipstick to give them a girlish spin.”