Shaffay Slippers’ inaugural Signature collection was designed in London by our extremely talented designer, Jess. Jess lives on a narrowboat so our future collections might be designed on a waterway anywhere in the UK.
The design process was all about bridging the gap between elegance and comfort. Within those parameters we had a number of further requirements of the slippers: we wanted lovely colours, clean lines and a sleek look; softness and lightness; slippers that could slip on and off easily but would not fall off when you dash up or downstairs; and we wanted slippers that would last.
With that (as it turned out) rather demanding brief we went through many sketches and design documents and then, in partnership with some excellent craftspeople in Southern China, several prototypes.
Turning design into reality: Creating our luxury women’s slippers
Southern China was the obvious choice for finding skilled people to make our designs into a reality. I met my husband in China when we were both foreign students; we have lived there more or less ever since and we both speak Chinese.
For much of the time, we have lived in Guangdong province and have a particular fondness for the people (and food) of that region. However, the primary driver for looking to produce there was that we knew we would find very skilled and knowledgeable people who were a just an hour or two’s drive away. And indeed we did.
We found a producer with high ethical and environmental standards that was happy to work with us to develop something new and different for the UK women’s slipper market.
Our key finding during the development process? In order for the slippers to slip on easily and to not just as easily fall off, they had to come up high on the front.
Our first prototype was much lower at the front, which gave us the feminine lines we were looking for but keeping the slippers on required toe contortions and mental energy.
Back at the ranch (the boat, actually), we brought the front up higher and gave it a little notch – a nod to those lovely soft babouche slippers from Morocco. We squared off the toe shape to give a distinctive and contemporary feel, put in a small, concealed wedge for just a touch of height at the heel and a memory foam inner sole for comfort. We then chose the softest and silkiest material we could find to create a warm lining.
We are delighted with the results. The slippers look elegant and modern – exactly what we wanted.
Even more importantly, they are extremely comfortable.
Pre-launch, the first Shaffay Women (those who have kindly trialled the slippers for us) have found them wonderfully soft and light, and that, as they mould gently to the foot, they look even better with wear – see how they style theirs and learn more about our production process on our Instagram channel @shaffay_co