British Prime Minister Theresa May’s fashion choices and in particular her love for extravagant shoes, continue to draw the attention of British media and catapult the brands she chooses into stardom. Beverly Feldman, the American designer based in Alicante, Spain, is known for her “too much is not enough” approach when it comes to accessories and is among the designers heavily featured in the politician’s wardrobe. Feldman has been enjoying increasing interest in her “Caliente” pumps, ever since May has been photographed in them.
The kitten heel pointed-toe pumps feature crystal embellishments and contrasting panels in bold patterns, such as leopard print or fuchsia pony skin and metallic snake-effect leather. Recently, Feldman has reworked them using zebra print and tartan panels, now featured in a dedicated section of the website named “Theresa.”
Other key styles in the brand’s range include ballerina flats embellished with chunky crystals, espadrilles covered in sequins and metallic slip-on sneakers with floral appliqués. Feldman isn’t one to shy away from anything that sparkles, her brand’s tagline being “too much is not enough.”
She adopts the same bold attitude when it comes to the way she approaches her business, having recently decided to stop selling at wholesale to focus on selling directly to the consumer via her website and social media. Her most recent venture is her YouTube channel, where she shares advice and glimpses from her life, including behind-the-scenes footage during a trip to a cosmetic surgeon for Botox.
Here, she talks to FN about the influence of May and her “too much is not enough” philosophy.
FN: How does having Theresa May being photographed wearing your shoes influence your brand?
BF: For a small brand like mine, the influence someone like Theresa May can have is tremendous. It’s true validity for the brand that a real woman in a powerful position believes in you, as opposed to a Hollywood celebrity whose choices are dependent on what their stylists have selected for them on an evening out. She is already an icon for women, because she became the prime minister of her country, that is the most admirable part of her. The fact that she also loves shoes makes her real.
FN: What’s your take on May’s sense of style and the scrutiny she often receives by the press for her unconventional footwear choices?
BF: She expresses herself perfectly with her accessories; she still dresses in a very classic manner and leaves all the excitement for the accessories. I think she has a lot of fun with the hysteria about her shoe addiction, or rather the press’ addiction, and regardless, continues to choose unusual pieces.
FN: Have you seen a spike in sales that you can attribute to May’s influence?
BF: I have, but it took a while to have all the stock running on the website. I no longer [sell products] wholesale; I find selling directly to the clients on my website and social media where it’s at today. It’s more rewarding for both myself and the clients.
FN: How would you define your brand signatures?
BF: It’s a personal aesthetic that has nothing to do with fashion. I make happy shoes and some of the best mid-heels and comfortable flats. It’s a belief system in what I think women would want to wear to feel attractive and comfortable. In the 50 years that I have been designing, I don’t think I’ve had to design anything new, it’s just fun to add new color combinations. The original “Caliente” style is 10 or 12 years old, and since Theresa May wore it, I have taken it and detailed it in new colors.
FN: Who is the customer who is wearing Beverly Feldman shoes, and how has she evolved over the years?
BF: Many haven’t evolved — that’s the beauty of my business. But there is also a whole new crop, from young Bolshoi dance students to friends’ daughters and granddaughters.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated Beverly Feldman is British and that her philosophy is “more is more.” It has been amended with her correct nationality, which is American, and mantra “too much is not enough.”