We.love.shoes. And chances are you do too. So naturally we jumped for joy when we found a South African brand that makes amazing flats, by hand, in South Africa, from leather, suede, linen and other fabrics that will make your heart sing. Something that’s not mass-produced in China and won’t break the bank, well, we’re all over it!
Kate Moss and Sienna Miller made pumps cool again in 2007 when they wore them with skinny jeans and wowed the world. Six years later the ballet pump is still not going anywhere anytime soon – it’s practical, simple and has that off-duty cool.
And who are the people making these beauties, you may ask? Well, it’s Cinnamon and we chatted to owner Frances Koep here:
Tell us how Cinnamon came about?
After studying, I worked in the finance industry in London and Switzerland for a few years before coming back to South Africa at the end of 2011. When I returned, I struggled to find the kind of flats I’d become used to. Local shops offered two choices: cheaper imports from China or very expensive imports from Europe. And so started the quest to find a good cobbler who could interpret my design ideas and produce a stylish, South African-made pair of Cinnamons. I was lucky to find the right person.
I am passionate about style and quality. I love shoes (what woman doesn’t?). I’d like to think that all this shows in Cinnamon’s shoes.
We love that Cinnamon gives back too. Tell us about this.
From the start we have been involved with Vuleka’s project that is raising money to build a school. Vuleka is an independent, non-profit Anglican Diocesan School that provides affordable education to underprivileged children.
More recently, Cinnamon has also begun to support Nkhensani that works with abused and abandoned orphans. If you bring a pair of worn (but still good) children’s shoes when you buy shoes from us, you’ll get 15% discount and we’ll donate the shoes to Nkhensani.
What makes Cinnamon’s shoes unique?
Apart from being beautiful and flattering, our shoes make a strong style statement. Every pair is made by hand, which means our ranges are limited. You will therefore be one of a handful of people wearing a particular design. And then there’s our ‘limited editions’ of which we make only one pair in each size.
The best of…
Best from day to night?
Imana. I live in mine. They go with different looks without being obtrusive (below left).
Best for work?
Anna. They’re professional but stylish (below right).
Best for play?
Rhea – casual, edgy, fun
Charlotte (below left) and Celena (below right)
We can’t wait to see the S/S collection, what can we look forward to?
It’s a great collection and we’ve extended the ranges by adding new styles, both in terms of the shape of the ballerina, but also with regard to textures, colours and materials. I want to cater to a wide range of tastes and styles, whether you flats to work or as casual wear during the day. You will even find something for the evening.
I am also going to add something that’s not a ballerina pump this summer. Watch this space!