Shoe of the Week: Laurence Dacade Proves the Pump Can Truly Be Both Sexy and Comfy

“Men are always trying to make this so low and sexy, but it’s not comfortable. Mine is cut higher, but it’s still flattering,” said Laurence Dacade of the toe vamp on her Vivette soft suede and microstudded 3.3-inch-heeled pump — though she could have just as easily have been talking about the décolletage of a shirt. The pump is FN’s Shoe of the Week for its annual Women in Power issue.

laurence, dacade, pump, shoe, of, the, week, fall, 2019
Laurence Dacade’s Vivette pump for fall ’19, a 3.3-inch-heeled shoe made of soft suede and microstudding.
CREDIT: Joshua Scott Photo

The pump has received ample criticism in recent years for its lack of comfort and inherent constraints, but it remains by and large the default shoe for power dressing. “The pump has been a sign of erotic femininity and also a sign of post-feminist power dressing,” said Valerie Steele, fashion historian, curator and director of the Museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Super-soft suedes and leathers were a signature for Dacade’s fall ’19 collection, which was — like other brands — heavy on boots. There were hiker boots with sturdy heels and shearling accents, retro-looking racing-stripe boots in various silhouettes, plus a few over-the-knee suede boots in camel and leopard print that are so high up on the leg, they could replace pants. They had Dacade’s signature luxe touch, but comfort was apparent throughout.

The French designer has decades of experience, both as the longtime footwear designer for Chanel and at the helm of her 16-year-old brand. She’s such a seasoned pro that she can often go through production rounds with her eyes closed. “My factory says I could do this blind because I’m constantly feeling the shoe to make sure it’s just right.”

Sometimes it takes a woman’s touch.

Watch FN’s interview with Carrie Dragshaw.

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