Shoe Stories From 4 Fashion Industry Vets

With this week's party shoes recommendations (don't forget to check out the Party Shoes Shop!), our minds have been fixated on shoes. And how could we not be? A great shoe can turn heads and make an outfit. So we decided to honor the party shoes by asking 4 women at the forefront of fashion to share stories about their favorite fancy shoes. Read on below.

Rajni Jacques

Image via Refinery29

Image via Refinery29

Over the course of her expansive fashion career Rajni honed her style sensibility at Christian Louboutin and countless fashion magazines like InStyle, Nylon, and Glamour. She’s been featured on television shows such as Good Morning America, dishing out fashion tips and curating trend stories. Rajni currently serves as a consultant and creative director for fashion sites and top brands such as Coach, Nike, and Nordstrom.

Her Shoe Story:

I’m a jeans kinda girl at heart, so my idea of fancy may be a little less formal than most. It all started with the Gucci Leather Cross Over Sandal. It comes in a variety of colors and looks chic and comfy all at once. It was love at first sight — I knew I had to have them. My only hesitation when making the purchase was, “which color should I get it in?” (I know, fashion girl problems). I decided to go with green because I love the color and feel like I can wear it with any and everything

But then I wanted a pair that I would wear only on special occasions. Something that was similar, but stood out. Something that was over the top, but my feet would still be comfy — and that’s when I laid eyes on the Gucci Webby Heel. Think of it as the boogie version of the cross over. The only real difference is that the heel is embellished with a snake and crystals. Amazing. The perfect fancy shoe.

The shoes

Kelli Lamb

As Managing Editor and head of social media at Rue Magazine, Kelli Lamb oversees all things inspiring in the world of interior design. When she’s not giving readers the scoop on the latest decorating or home entertainment tips at Rue, she busy discussing fashion, interior design, and travel on her lifestyle blog, Leopard and Lavender. Kelli lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband and two cats. 

Her Shoe Story

When I was planning my wedding, I had a really tough time choosing a dress. I impulsively purchased one on sale at BHLDN, and spent the next few months going back and forth on whether or not I actually liked it. I ended up keeping it, but never felt totally in love with the dress.

However, the shoes I wore were a no brainer and still make me endlessly happy. I wanted to dance the night away and the wedding was taking place at my dad’s lavender farm in Idaho, so no heels for me! When I saw these sandals pop up on the Loeffler Randall site, I bought them immediately. The day of the wedding, I was so nervous that I laced them up incorrectly (with the tassels in the back), but still loved the way they looked — simple on top with a little party in back. A shoe mullet, if you will. My feet didn’t hurt once, and I danced until the last guests were leaving.

The next day, we boarded a flight to Madrid and I wore the sandals all over Spain — through wineries along the Duero River, alleys in Seville, riding bikes in Barcelona, and on the beach in Mallorca. We returned from our honeymoon only to pack up our apartment in San Francisco and move to LA. The sandals were the only shoes that the movers didn’t box up, and so I wore them nonstop for our first week at our new home.

While the shoes aren’t the definition of luxury, it’s probably the most I’d pay for a pair of summer sandals. (At least while I was living in foggy San Francisco!) And more importantly, I feel like they completely define an exciting chapter of my life.

The shoes

Kendall Barber

Kendall Barber is the co-founder of shoe company Poppy Barley, where she’s rethinking the footwear industry by implementing ethical, community-driven practices and overseeing the creation of some seriously awesome footwear. Her commitment to serving the community extends beyond the workplace: she’s a board member for YWCA Edmonton, a Run Ambassador for Lululemon Athetica, and a supporter of Hope Mission Kids in Action. Kendall has won number awards, including being named on Avenue magazine’s 2014 Top 40 Under 40 list, Western Living Designers of the Year ‘Ones to Watch’ and Global Edmonton Woman of Vision. 

Her Shoe Story

In my twenties, I wore beautiful, blistering uncomfortable high-heels. Older women would tell me one-day I’d trade in my heels for more practical shoes. I dismissed their comments and promised myself to always remain fashionable and wear high heels for the rest of my life. In my thirties, I began to care more about quality over quantity and started shopping more conscientiously instead of throwing my dollars at fast-fashion stores. I invested in everyday luxury basics (great jeans, cashmere sweaters and silk tops) and the best flats (gasp!). My life had become so full and I had no time for sore feet. Like so many women before me, I traded my heels for "fancy" flats. I needed shoes that matched my life: creative, fast-paced, and always on the go traveling. One of the benefits of founding a shoe company is you design the shoe you need in your life. Enter the Strappy Sandal - a shoe that travels the world with me for work, beaches, city exploring and galas. From work to cocktail to weekend to beach, this shoe does life better than I do.

The Shoes


Abigail Holtz is Affinity’s Founder and CEO. Having spent nearly a decade working at the intersection of fashion and tech on products like Glamour's Ask A Stylist,, and Google Catalogs, Abigail is passionate about revolutionizing the way we shop for clothing online. When she isn’t busy dreaming up the future of fashion, you’ll find her traveling, cooking with friends, learning to speak German (guten Tag!), and spending time with her husband and newborn son.

Her Shoe Story

I’ve always been a huge fan of Nicholas Kirkwood shoes, but never had the stomach to buy a pair because I notoriously ruin my heels within a month or two. But when I came across these Gilded Bijoux Leather Pumps a few years ago, I couldn’t hold back. I impulsively added the $1000 heels to cart, and pressed the checkout button.

Despite the hefty price tag, I never regretted the purchase. In fact, about two years ago when I was on the hunt for wedding shoes, I realized my Nicholas Kirkwood pumps would be the perfect match for my wedding dress. I ended up wearing them to my wedding, and I finally had an excuse I could give my husband for buying such pricey shoes!

The shoes