When she was conceiving her fall/winter 2020 collection, shoe designer Sarah Flint looked to some unexpected places for inspiration—the interiors of English country estates, pillow trim, and even her childhood dollhouse inform her new limited-edition creations for her namesake brand. This collection of shoes and scarves, complete with elements of furniture upholstery, is the perfect synthesis of home and fashion; you’ll no doubt want to wear these pieces all season long. ELLE Decor recently caught up with Flint—whose celebrity fans include Meghan Markle—to ask her about these new designs.
ELLE Decor: When did you first fall in love with home decor and interior design?
Sarah Flint: I’ve loved decor my whole life. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of accompanying my parents on tours of grand estates and gardens in Europe. My mother always had a decorating project she was working on, and I would use her leftover wallpaper and fabric samples for my dollhouse.
ED: How was this particular collection inspired by interiors?
SF: I’ve really loved bringing together elements of interior design and fashion with my fall/winter 2020 collection. Our capsule collection with [fabric manufacturer] Samuel & Sons even made its way into this line. We’ve incorporated their intricate upholstery trims onto our pumps and even house shoes. Our new Perfect Dress Bootie was inspired by the backs of Chippendale chairs, and the idea for the Sylvia flat came from a canopy bed. I like designs with an unexpected backstory. Even the smallest things can serve as inspiration.
ED: You have a long history with Morris & Co. fabrics. Was it a no-brainer to use them in your first New York City location?
SF: I’ve spent most of my life surrounded by Morris & Co. textiles—my mother used them throughout my childhood home. We often rent the same home in Scotland each summer, this year of course notwithstanding, and even those rooms are filled with Morris & Co. patterns. They’ve been so integral to my life, so it was natural to incorporate them into my showroom, our first-ever Sarah Flint pop-up in NYC.
ED: You’re launching scarves as well this fall—how have your interior design roots changed this design process?
SF: I inherited beautiful Hermès and YSL scarves from my grandmother, and when I went to replace one, I realized how incredibly expensive these pieces had become. As with footwear, I immediately felt there was an opportunity to create a true luxury product, but sell it direct-to-consumer without the traditional retail markup. I am particularly excited about the scarf we created in collaboration with the artist Libby Bell that features illustrations of Samuel & Sons trims we used on our shoes. This will be our first cashmere scarf, and it is so perfect for the holiday season. It’s so cozy!
ED: Much of this collection was inspired by English country estates, yes?
SF: I traveled to Yorkshire in 2019—originally to plan my wedding at one of these estates, but I loved the halls and grounds so much that they ended up inspiring my fall/winter 2020 collection. I primarily loved the ornate, decorative details: the trim on a canopy bed in Newby Hall, the curvature of the Chippendale chairs, the angular moldings on a ceiling. I had to postpone my wedding there for now, but I know I’ll be back some day.
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