Alexia Aubert launched her cult men’s footwear label Solovière just two years ago, soon scoring key accounts in Paris such as Colette and Bon Marché and internationally at Barneys New York and United Arrows Tokyo, and finding favor with her no-logo vibe and simple approach. She expanded the line last year to incorporate unisex sizing — at the request of Colette’s Sarah Lerfel — and scooped Vogue Italia’s Who’s on Next prize this summer.
Spring ’17 sees her introducing a full women’s collection, and key styles take in the signature Matthieu suede moccasin, created from one piece of leather. “We drape it on the last rather than molding it,” she said. “It’s more like a clothing than a shoe-making technique.” Colors include dreamy washed-out pastels and saturated pops of cobalt.
There are also more experimental woven sandals, “where the leather is knitted to make a skeleton,” she said, plus Audrey Hepburn-style ballerina plimsoll hybrids. New season innovation for both sexes is the sneaker — but done the Solovière way — in one piece of leather just like the Matthieu. The men’s collection features an additional woven high-top.
The new women’s line has been taken up by Bon Marché, Colette, Barneys Japan and New York’s La Garçonne. “A good response,” Aubert noted, “but I’m not in a rush — it took Christian Louboutin [where I started my career] 14 years. I don’t want my brand to explode; we are growing very organically.”
The next step is the debut Solovière boutique, set to bow in January, in Paris’ bohemian ninth arrondissement near Monmartre. “It’s very cute, very Parisian,” she said, “not really fancy, but a first step to establishing our DNA all in one place to bring people into our world.”