Louise Roe believes in affordable fashion, but when it comes to shoes, she’s willing to splurge.
As a television presenter, model, fashion journalist and host of the CW’s makeover show “Plain Jane,” Roe takes a bottoms-up approach to fashion.
“Shoes are my main obsession in the fashion arena. The only thing that I spend lots of money on is shoes. With bags, jewelry and dresses I’ll go really cheap, but I’ll save up for shoes when I want to treat myself,” she said.
“I don’t really know other girls who do this, but I will decide what shoe I want to wear and then build my outfit around them,” she explained.
Born in Surrey, England, Roe began her career as an intern at Elle, then quickly moved into hosting various fashion-related shows for the BBC. She has appeared as a guest judge on “Britain’s Next Top Model” and “Project Catwalk.” Roe moved to Los Angeles in 2009, and recently completed her first season of “Plain Jane,” where she gives participants makeovers in preparation for a date. She’ll make her modeling debut this spring in a campaign for a major Italian luxury brand, she said, though she couldn’t disclose the name.
Footwear News caught up with Roe at her modest one-bedroom apartment in Beverly Hills, Calif., to talk all things fashion, including her passion for shoes.
Pairs owned: About 90
Brands: Camilla Skovgaard, Carvela, Christian Louboutin, Giuseppe Zanotti, Gucci, Guess by Marciano, Jessica Simpson, Jimmy Choo, KG by Kurt Geiger, Louis Vuitton, Mechante of London, Missoni, Moda in Pelle, Pour La Victoire, Steve Madden, Tory Burch, United Nude
Shoe style: “Really high and really bright. I’m 5’9” so some of my shoes make me 6’3” and I don’t care. I just have to have a really tall date, and that’s the end of it. I won’t wear flat shoes for a short boy.”
Favorite pair: A royal-blue, patterned Louboutin ankle boot
Buying philosophy: “I always try them on and walk around in them. I also think of three outfits that I already have that the shoe will go with. I try to think of a dress and more of a daytime jean sort of outfit, and then something more formal for work.”
Shopping tip: “If there is any kind of mark on the shoe, ask for a discount. If you ask, you can get it. The bigger the store and the more expensive the item, the more likely you are to get something off, especially if it’s on sale. They can easily take another 10 percent to 20 percent off.”
Best shoe for a makeover: “Steve Madden does really great bright platforms. Most of the girls I make over aren’t used to walking in high heels, and platforms are easier because it levels the foot. Bright colors just pop an outfit.”
Worst shoe tragedy: “An ex-boyfriend of mine once, really sweetly, took my first pair of Louboutins, which he bought for me, to get them resoled. They came back with this big black rubber sole, and I had to be like, ‘Thank you.’”
Favorite places to shop: Bakersshoes.com, Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Intermix, Piperlime.com, Topshop, Zara
Favorite shopping cities: Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Milan
Must-have style: An open-toe, ankle-length boot
Biggest shoe risk: “I’ve got a pair of Steve Madden sandals with a wooden cone heel and orange straps. They could be so [bad] if you paired it with the wrong thing, but I usually wear them with a loose jumpsuit and a brown biker jacket to mellow them out a bit.”
Pairs purchased in the past year: Twenty to 25. “It’s gotten a bit nuts. My agent just visited from London and looked at my closet and said, ‘Your shoes have been breeding.’”
Biggest shoe splurge: “The Louboutins I bought when [‘Plain Jane’] started. They’ve got a little gold mesh on the front, and they’re brown and black.”
Wouldn’t be caught dead in: “I don’t really like Mary Jane [styles]. I don’t like ankle straps. I don’t know why anyone wears them because they shorten your legs, even if you’ve got great legs. They’re not flattering.”
Wish list: “I’m just obsessed with a pair of Jimmy Choo chocolate brown suede over-the-knee boots.”