Equal parts pretty and practical

Sandals: Cecilie Bahnsen x Suicoke, ‘Maria’, SS20

I grew up in the Yorkshire countryside where, sartorially, practicality rules the roost. Harbouring an interest in fashion is difficult when you’re constantly being dragged on moorside walks, hopping into the back of Land Rovers, or traversing cobblestoned streets en route to the pub. High fashion, where I’m from, is all Barbour jackets, Hunter wellies (Le Chameau if you count hunting meets as part of your social calendar) and gilets. Thank god for Vogue subscriptions.

When I started university I was keen to shrug off my country-bumpkin roots. Whenever I said “Richmond” in conversation with someone asking where I was from, people would assume I meant Richmond upon Thames, and I often wouldn’t correct them. Why would I? I wore clothes that limited my movement and impractical shoes that gave me blisters, because that, I thought, was the key to looking like a sophisticated Fashion Person.

My enduring proclivity for ridiculous purchases still stands, because working in fashion ensures you’ll always be slightly detached from reality, and seriously skews your concept of a “good price.” But recently, I’ve gone a bit Yorkshire-Mum in my approach to footwear. I can’t deal with heels, and anything that slows me down, or isn’t workable on testing terrain, has to go: I have cobblestones in my vicinity again and it’s summer, which in Munich means a lot of time on the grass or the rocky bits by the Isar. I’ve found the perfect middle ground in Cecilie Bahnsen’s collaboration with Suicoke, which combines all the comfort and grip of Vibram outsoles with all of Bahnsen’s charmingly saccharine sensibilities. I haven’t yet taken my Maria sandals on a hike – proof that my fashion-over-function mentality won’t go away either, I bought them in pristine white – but I’m pretty confident I’d fit in with the wandern crowd if I did.

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