“I make shoes for women to live their real lives in. Shoes that never make you choose between feeling good and looking good.” — Sarah Flint
In 2013 at just 25 years old, Sarah Flint founded a shoe brand that would revolutionize how we look at luxury footwear. Sarah, a graduate of FIT who interned with Diane von Furstenberg and Proenza Schouler studied the technical side of shoe making in Milan with Richard Siccardi who has worked with several of luxury footwear’s most recognizable names. Sarah Flint’s shoes marry luxury with comfort and her Natalie flat is quickly becoming known as one of the most comfortable shoes on the market.
When did you first fall in love with shoes?
My life-long love of shoes started at age five with a beautiful pair of patent leather tap shoes. I was completely in love with everything about them – the grosgrain flower on top, the little heel, and the satisfying ‘click’ they made when I walked.
You launched the brand back in 2013 at just 25 years old. When did you first decide that you wanted to found your own brand?
During my time at FIT, where I studied footwear design, it puzzled me that the shoes women spent the most money on were the ones that made your toes numb and eventually ended up at the back of your closet. I saw a real opportunity in the market to create beautifully designed, handmade shoes that didn’t sacrifice style for comfort.
Prior to founding Sarah Flint, you interned with both Diane von Furstenburg and Proenza Schouler as well as honing your pattern-making and prototyping skills at Ars Sutoria in Milan where you studied under Richard Siccardi. What was one of the biggest takeaways from your time working with such notable brands?
One of my biggest takeaways from these experiences was the need for passion. This is a really tough industry and you have to love and fully believe in what you’re doing in order for it to be successful.
“As a woman, I understand the frustration of buying shoes that end up sitting in your closet. Because of this, I obsess over the details of fit and construction to make the most comfortable and durable shoes, never sacrificing an ounce of style.”
Who would you say has been your greatest source of inspiration both in the business and in life?
I very much admire Sara Blakely and everything she’s built at Spanx. Her journey wasn’t always easy but she never let anyone stop her from building her vision. Certainly something to aspire towards! In life, my sisters and mother inspire me every day.
What do you feel sets Sarah Flint shoes apart from other brands on the market?
What really sets us apart from other brands is the marriage of comfort and style. We work closely with heritage Italian shoemakers to combine traditional techniques with modern innovations, ultimately bringing women footwear that is classically elegant on the outside and packed with comfort-driven design on the inside.
Your shoes have been described as ‘stylish and comfortable’ and ‘multi-taskers that can transition from day to night’ with the Natalie flats hailed as some of the most comfortable shoes on the market. Out of all of the shoes in your brand, what style do you wear the most often?
This is tough! I try to rotate and not play favorites but I probably wear my Natalie flats most often.
“Sandals from Capri. Boots from Vigevano. Pumps from Parabiago. I am discerning and relentless in sourcing and partnering with the most experienced and knowledgable artisans in the industry.”
All of your shoes are handmade in Italy. How closely do you work with the artisans who bring your designs to life and what is the most important factor in maintaining a successful relationship with the factories in Italy?
I work very closely with our factory partners in Italy and the artisans that make up those teams to ensure that the product is just right. It’s so important to have those strong relationships – now more than ever. Given the state of the world with COVID-19, our top concern is the safety and wellbeing of our partners in Italy.
You worked together with Stacie Flinner to design the space for your Soho pop up last December. What was the best part about working with Stacie to create a space that blended with the brands aesthetic?
Stacie and I have become great friends through working together and I think that has honestly been the best part. Working with her feels so natural since she has such a deep understanding of the brand’s aesthetic. I think we were able to perfectly capture what we wanted in the SoHo space and created a really cozy environment for customers to get to know the brand.
Do you plan on future pop-ups?
That is our goal!
Tell me about the story behind creating the #walklikeawoman and how represents the ideal of the Sarah Flint brand on social media.
For me, ‘Walk like a Woman’ means that you can feel both feminine and powerful. This goes back to the idea that women shouldn’t have to choose between looking good and feeling great, which is why I started the brand.
Your shoes have been worn by celebrities such as Meghan Markle, Amal Clooney, Cindy Crawford and Karlie Kloss to name a few and have been featured in well known publications such as Town & Country, People & Variety. What was it like seeing your brand in the press for the first time?
It’s always extremely flattering and exciting when I see the brand in the press or an influential woman wear my shoes. I know these editors and women have access to every brand out there and always feel really proud when they choose Sarah Flint.
Back in March you debuted the Perfect Block Sandal just in time for spring. The sandal features a wider heel, sliding adjustable straps and the brands signature comfort-driven features. Are you currently working on new designs that you plan to release in the upcoming summer season?
We work about a year out in terms of the design and production process, so right now I’m actually starting to design for Spring 2021. It’s wild to think that far out, but I’m excited for what’s to come!