As unlikely pairings go, it doesn’t get more unexpected. She’s a pedigreed, London-based former Vogue and Vanity Fair editor charged with dressing Gwyneth Paltrow and Saorise Ronan. They’re a supremely casual Southern California beach-centric brand best known for their chunky sandals.
But star stylist Elizabeth Saltzman and Rocket Dog have proved that opposites do, indeed, attract — teaming up on a new capsule collection of the label’s ’90s-style signature platform flip-flops that captures a penchant for the era.
“I wanted to try something different with a brand I personally love,” she tells Footwear News.
Saltzman took the Bigtop style — which in its 1997 heydey was worn by the Spice Girls, Jennifer Aniston on “Friends,” and on “My So-Called Life” — and gave them a modern day makeover. The offering features six revamped versions, including rainbow or monocromatic striped and pearl-strapped versions in both thong and slingback constructions.
We checked in with Saltzman herself to hear more about how this surprising collaboration came to be and get her coveted fashion advice on exactly how to wear a tower flip-flop tastefully.
What’s your first memory of Rocket Dog?
“In the late ’90’s, I remember them coming out and thinking “What’s this?!” I immediately bought that first pair then a couple months later I started to search for a second, third and forth pair and so on. As much as I like looking forward, I also love a bit of nostalgia. It’s fun to revisit the ’90s.”
How did this collaboration come about?
It’s a genuine partnership precipitated by my love of the brand. I’ve been purchasing their shoes for years. A while ago I visited Rocket Dog in London, told them what we liked about certain styles and asked if they’d make special styles for us… And then boom, the ball began rolling! We’re not trying to reimagine Rocket Dog, we’re trying to elevate it just a tiny bit.”
What do you think makes the Bigtop sandal endure 20 years later?
“Comfort is key and I know from years of experience these shoes are very comfortable. Also, height is always a good thing.”
What is the right way (and also the wrong way) to style these sandals, would you say?
“I think these shoes are surprisingly versatile. They’re not serious and are totally about fun and comfort. I’ve taken to saying that these shoes aren’t for the red carpet, they’re for the after-party. Personally, I wear mine when I want a little height but know I’ll be on my feet for a long period of time. They’re so comfortable and they just make me so happy.”
Saltzman in her Bigtop flip-flops the night of the 2017 Oscars
How will you be wearing them this spring / summer? Any vacation destinations you plan to bring them to?
“My ‘OGs’ will travel with me to New York, Malibu, L.A., Maui, Southampton and all over the wonderful streets of London as per usual. I like wearing them with white Frame jeans, a striped tee and a navy blue jacket.”