With the new season comes new footwear and if you know what’s good for you, you’ll pick up a pair from Raphael Young. The Korean-born designer is taking the luxury accessories industry by storm with his statement-making shoes that put the fun back in dress-up.
Young was adopted at the age of four by a French family from Lyon and spent summers as a child in the factory with his uncle, Alexandre Narcy, a world-renowned bottier who actualized Yves Saint Laurent’s shoe studio in the 1950′s. Naturally, he developed an insatiable appetite for fashion and design during this time and went on to design his first pair of shoes at 14, when most children are struggling to get through their homework.
“I would sit for hours and just watch my uncle carve a last or a heel out of a block of wood. I had the best kind of apprenticeship with him. He taught me the traditional way, like a true artisan”, says Young.
He makes each shoe prototype from stitch to finish, which is rarely done in the industry today. His practices are old-school and hark back to the time of his uncle when each last and heel was developed by the cobbler himself. History, architecture and most importantly, tradition are Young’s constant inspirations. Since the launch of the line in 2007, he has created footwear for Elie Saab, Manish Arora, Frank Tell and Louise Goldin, as well as designing a capsule collection of handbags for Le Tanneur and an Aston Martin race car for Team Signature Plus. Celebrity fans include Sarah Jessica Parker, Rihanna and Lady Gaga so he definitely has the world’s most fashionable women wearing his shoes.
His Spring 2011 collection is full of covetable pieces including rose gold leather-trimmed black suede ankle boots ($925), red suede peep-toe wedges with a black and ivory marbled resin heel ($845) and black leather ankle boots ($1025) adorned with all the buckles and straps money can buy. Definitely footwear that stands out in a crowd and ups the glamour in your wardrobe.