Interview with Bespoke Shoemaker Caroline Groves
“One shoe can change your life.”
25th Jul 2015
Filming by Huanxin Huang (Syndi Huang)
Editing by Xiaoyue Yu (Michelle Yu)
Caroline Groves is one of the few in the world, a traditional bespoke shoemaker. With over 25 years of experience hand making shoes her creative talent crosses the boundaries between craftsmanship, fashion, art and fantasy. Her self named label was set-up ten years ago and has since built up an international following of clients who are both fashion forward women with established creatives – authors and artists alike.
Caroline’s original interest was in leather and she collaborated with a saddler until meeting a shoemaker in 1988 with whom she trained for a number of years. However, Caroline realised she wanted to work more on design, style and use beautiful materials this led to her starting her own company.
Caroline’s inspirations come from her Arts and Crafts heritage (her great-grandfather was one of the 150 crafts people that bought the Guild of Handicraft to Chipping Campden in 1902 under C.R. Ashbee) and interest in period costume. Her work is all about curves and she is very interested in the sculptural elements of shoemaking and design. In 2009 she was invited to become a Freeman with the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers.
Caroline’s exquisite shoes are now exhibited at V&A’s current exhibition–Shoes: Pleasure and Pain.