With her perfectly coiffed hair and precisely-lined red lips, you'd think that she is a modern day remake of a 1940s movie character, but Charlotte Olympia Dellal is anything but. Modern yet dated at the same time, she is the refreshing British shoe designer who is one of fashion’s favourite footwear designers.
Winner of accessories designer of the year award at the British Fashion Awards in 2011, Dellal is known for her 'Dolly' platforms and kitsch influences, effortlessly combining British humour and Hollywood bombshell aesthetics.
Dellal began her eponymous label after graduating from London College of Fashion's prestigious Cordwainer's footwear design course. Although she wanted to design from a young age, it was during her foundation year that she discovered she wanted to specialise in footwear.
Her first footwear collection was presented during London Fashion Week in February 2008. Two years later, she opened her first store on Maddox Street in London. This was followed by a second in 2011 on East 65th Street in New York City, and another on Rodeo Drive, Los Angeles in July 2013.
Since launching her company, the Charlotte Olympia brand, which is loved by A-list celebrities such as Beyonce, Taylor Swift and Emma Watson, has been growing from strength to strength. In June 2013, Dellal has collaborated with Victoria Beckham on her Victoria line, created shoes for Agent Provocateur, and created a limited edition Charlotte’s Web inspired collection with Olympia Le Tan. Last year saw the opening of three additional boutiques: in Miami, Hong Kong, and Dubai.
Born in Cape Town, the first child of Guy Dellal, a property developer, and Brazilian model ‘Rio’ Andrea de Magalhães Vieira, Dellal led a very privileged life of glamour. She is the eldest of four children, including her sister, model Alice Dellal, and Alexander Dellal, owner of the 20 Hoxton Square art gallery. The family grew up in Paris, Rio de Janeiro and London.
In an interview with Vogue, the mother of three says: "I have always wanted to have a business and a family, so I try to balance things
to make them both work. I enjoy designing and I also love being a mother and a home-maker, so it helps that my office is a moment away from home."
And what advice would she give any aspiring young footwear designers?
"My father always taught me the importance of a business plan and to think big," she says. "It is also key to have a point of view and a strong brand aesthetic.
Love Me Pumps by Charlotte Olympia
Patent Dolly Pumps by Charlotte Olympia
Dolly Tulle Pumps by Charlotte Olympia
Masako Satin Pumps by Charlotte Olympia