Social Styles: Elysze Talks to Shoe Designer Ruthie Davis
Who Wore What to Where by Elysze Held
How did shoe designer Ruthie Davis get the inspiration to start her own line? She ‘did the math’- four collections a year x 20 years - and all for other brands. So Davis - a personable and fearless All-American girl with a true sense of style and a MBA in entrepreneurship - kicked up her heels and created The Ruthie Davis Collection, featured at Neiman Marcus Bal Harbour.
As for the other brands? While at Reebok, she is credited with taking them out of the gym and bringing the ‘cool of the street’ to the athletic shoe brand.
And then came UGGS. Yes, UGGS. Davis is responsible for the UGG boots/denim skirt street style look that brought the Australian brand out of the hands of the surfer dudes and onto Melrose Avenue.
“Jupiter” teal & gleaming gold with Rock studs and the “West Palm” a strappy silhouette in colorful stripes
Davis knew that her experience working with celebrities and marketing and creating THE BUZZ about a great product was invaluable. So she decided to create buzz around her own great product and is now making an impact on modern shoe design. She recently custom designed a pair of perfect little “Ruthies” for fave client Beyonce’s baby Blue Ivy — in PINK! The not blue, but pink sneakers are fully embellished with purple Swarovski crystals on the sides and matching purple laces.
Now, her brand, her voice. Davis makes shoes for “sharp women… who are going somewhere!” Important factors in her collection? Female glamour and sex appeal. Each shoe is sketched from the hand of Davis herself and shoe aficionados note an irony of design in her collection that juxtaposes the eclectic and the traditional. See her Doheny Metallic Leather Wedge-Effect Pump (in gold).
In 2010, I was backstage during Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week at Dennis Basso, and caught a glimpse of the A-M-A-Z-I-N-G Ruthie Davis shoes in the model line-up -- or should I say her sculptures? And what a sense of humor Davis displayed. The soles on a few pairs were a neon pink, NOT red - not a chance of color copyright infringement.
Retro yet minimalist - “The Pierce Brosnan” sneaker with Swarovski crystals and rose gold studs(best for Art Basel)
“I design on the foot," she said. "It is all about the architecture of the shoe and it needs to be comfortable. Plus, my shoes simply make you look better. When you put them on you look better. They enhance the leg - not take them over."
She wants to make shoes that are not showpieces but shoes that show off a women’s body. In fact, she test drives her shoes. Davis will wear her shoes all day and then onto an event, up to nine to 10 hours in the same pair. That is indeed a test drive.
One of my favorite little books aptly named The Shoes of Salvation by British poet Edward Monkton describes wonderfully a woman’s relationship with shoes: “Come to us Lady,” said the shoes, “and we will make you beautiful too. We alone can make you blossom and flourish into a glorious and whole and complete human being.”
Ruthie Davis must have made those shoes.