… it’s not much that we have in common – except one thing and that is that we buy shoes in the same shop.It all started with Lady Di … about 16-17 years ago – and my friend Bärbel sent me a picture from Sweden with an address and she asked me if could look the shop up next time I was in London, in those days I lived in Brighton and it was only 50 min by train.
And I did … without any luck – went to the address, but nothing there … called “French Sole” - the original Ballerina shoes. Asked around and nobody knew what I was talking about. So back to Brighton without being any wiser or without any shoes.
A couple a months later I read that they had open a shop of Sloane Street on Ellis Street and that was me straight there – love at first sight and so my love affair with “French Sole” started … still going on strong, even if it has weaken a bit because of the distance.
When I started to buy shoes for me and my Swedish girlfriends – they cost £59.00/$92.50/€75.15 – today average price is around £89.00/$139.65/€113.35, but on sale there is good bargains and postage to Sweden is £10.00/$15.70/€12.75 (very fair)
Have only been in the little shop on Ellis Street, but during the last few years there is 2 more shops in London and one in Malaysia. The Ellis Street shop is like a candy store .. with shoes.
6 Ellis Street
London, Greater London
Phone; 020 7730 3771
61 Marylebone Lane
London, Greater London
Phone; 020 7486 0021
323 King’s Road
Phone; 020 7351 1634
When I started to buy shoes .. with them they only had 4 models – Quilted, Sturdy, Simple and Square Toe – also the biggest size was 41/UK9, so the only models I could get into was Quilted and Square Toe. Today they have 17 different models and sizes up to 44/UK12
In total I probably bought about 40 pair .. quite a few is gone – worn out completely – but I still have a fair amount of them.
Have so many pair shoes, so I have to keep them in there boxes – and to know what shoe is where I take a photo of them and place pictures on the front of boxes. If I didn’t do that .. I spend more time in my closet looking for my shoes than wearing them.
The photos I used here I have on file – and been taken as I bought them. No afford or artistic thoughts behind the photos – just so I can see what boxes I want. As you can see I’m good to my shoes, all has shoe blocks when in the closet – and this is only my French Sole collection.
The owner to this concept – I have met a couple of time at the Ellis shop – “Jane Winkworth” - but that was while she only had the online business and the Ellis shop. A very nice lady – friendly, approachable and with a very good business sense. She lives in Surrey in the South of England and she has a Portuguese retreat. She started with her shoe idea in 1989 and her shoes are made in highest quality materials sourced from France, Italy and Spain. Last time we talked she said that she want to be small and the best … today that has changed and she still are the best in what she do.
Last time I bought a pair is now 1,5 years ago and that was the golden pair – I have other Ballerina shoes too, but my French Sole are my favorite – and today when I looked at the web-site I order another pair in metallic leather – £40.00 plus £10.00 in postage = £50.00/$78.45/€63.70 a very good deal.
I have notice now that even Kate is walking down the road like Diana did – and there is so many other famous ladies that has done the same – and even more of ordinary women that own French Soles today – like me.
This with shoes … is pleasure and it’s guilt for me – wish I had 1000 feet. How many pair of shoes I have????!!! Sorry, but that is a matter of National Security – if I tell you I may have to kill you afterwards.
“Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.”
Photos provided by and thanks to: