Clients such as Kate Moss, Sienna Miller, Cheryl Cole, Rachel McAdams, Yasmin Le Bon, Frieda Pinto, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Boy, Sammi Cheng, Claudia Schiffer, Keira Knightley, Samantha Cameron, Gwyneth Paltrow and many more wore shoe designs by Rupert Sanderson. Born in 1966, Sanderson is a footwear designer from Malaysia’s island Penang the hometown of Jimmy Choo.
Rupert’s father was a British Army Officer and thus, the family lived a nomadic life. After completing his education at Royal Holloway and Bedford New College of London University, Rupert worked in the advertising industry before taking a shoe-making course at Cordwainers College, an internationally recognized institution. When the summer holidays arrived, Rupert took off with his motorbike to visit Italian makers, tanneries and shoe factories. He met artisans and tried his level best to learn as much as possible about this trade. Later, he worked at Bruno Magli and prior to this he did a job for Sergio Rossi. Working with the families and founders of these companies opened doorways for Rupert to interact with the shoe-making society in Italy.
It was in 2001 that Rupert produced his debut shoe collection. After five years in order to reinforce his principles of design, Sanderson purchased a shoe factory in the suburbs of Bologna.
In every shoe made by Rupert Sanderson, there is a keen attention to details and each piece is reflection of time-honored craftsmanship. His design philosophy is ‘less is more’ – this way perfection is achieved in balance, line and symmetry of the shoes, to lengthen and flatter the leg rather than adding excessive embellishments. Rupert’s focus is on the shape, length and fit because he aims to produce a fine-looking shoe with comfort. Every pair is carefully handcrafted in his industrial unit, Facit Srl near Ravenna in Tredozio. Rupert’s inspiration comes from the materials, the silhouettes and curves of the heels and lasts.
For his exceptional design sense, the designer has been given awards such as, Accessory Designer of the Year by British Fashions Council as well as Elle Style Awards in 2008 and 2009, respectively. In addition to this, he has achieved some prestigious collaborations. Rupert is known for designing shoes for the cast of two hundred actors performing in a play directed under David McVicar in Aida Royal Opera House. With the Fashion Fringe of Colin McDowell, Rupert launched the Fashion Fringe Shoe collection. Moreover, he designed shoes for The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other, a play by Peter Handke at the National Theatre. Furthermore, he worked with Lousie Goldin and twice with Karl Lagerfeld.
Rupert Sanderson is a well-occupied family man with three sons and a remarkable business. According to Rupert, the epitome of happiness for him is the ability to live life devoid of constraints, to do what one loves without feeling extremely busy. Rupert is very lucky to balance his time between his work and loved ones.
His most memorable childhood time was when he grew up in Penang, it was a carefree life. He was wild, strong-hearted and fun loving kid who ran into the jungles to explore and played restlessly in the dunes. At the age of nine, he couldn’t write or read but he was brave enough to catch a grasshopper with his bare hands.
Just like his taste in design, Rupert’s house has a typical Victorian London aesthetics but with a tinge of contemporary feel. He keeps changing the appearance of his house to make it more comfy and livable.