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5 Minutes With... Terry de Havilland

by Wolf & Badger

Terry de Havilland shoes are known for their style, extravagance, drama and essence of eccentricity. The brand was born in the 70’s and until 2015, Terry was still involved in the design of every collection. Terry sadly died in 2019, but his iconic footwear and creative energy lives on today in his designs. We sat down with Darren Spurling, managing director at Terry de Havilland, to discover a little bit more about the brand.  

How did Terry’s journey into footwear begin?

Terry grew up surrounded by footwear; shoemaking was in his DNA. His father had a shoe factory in the East End of London and it was here that the journey began as Terry started to design and create his own footwear. One of his designs, the Margaux, was spotted by Annie Treherne, then editor of the renowned Queen magazine. She featured the Margaux in the magazine and they became an instant hit. The brand continues to design and create shoes relevant and in keeping with the authentic seventies style following Terry’s death. 

What influence did Terry have on the world of footwear design?

Terry designed with his clients in mind, always creating something wild and bold, to give the wearer confidence. For this reason, his iconic designs stood out and still do today. Our current collections are still a favourite with celebrities and have recently been spotted on the set of Sex and the City and the trailers for the new series of Emily in Paris. 

Sarah Jessica Parker has been spotted wearing the shoes whilst filming the new series of Sex and The City – can you tell us about this?

The costume department for the ‘And Just Like That’ series was led by Molly Rogers. Molly's team got in touch with us to request some styles as they wanted to have the shoes available for styling with the outfits for the show. 

The Lena Non-Stop Disco platform was chosen and we we’re ecstatic to see the design being worn by the lead character Carrie Bradshaw, played by Sarah Jessica Parker. Carrie’s style has a huge influence on the millions of fans the show has, alongside global fashion trends. Our designs encapsulate luxury, boldness and creativity. We stay true to the Seventies ‘Night Fever’ feel and are known for our party platforms, with the highest of heels and colour-clashing combinations with unusual textures. 

What’s the story behind the Lena Non-Stop Disco design? 

The Lena has a 12cm heel and 3cm platform with galaxy-coloured, glitter fabric finish. The open-toe design with ankle-strap is perfect for those looking to dance the night away and celebrate all things disco in style. The platform means the shoe can be worn for longer, and the block heel finish creates a heavy platform look. The Lena is one of our most popular designs and remains a strong reflection of the Seventies. 

Terry de Havilland has always been a celebrity favourite brand. Why do you think this is? 

When the brand was created, celebrities at the time were looking for usual designs, fashion forward items of clothing and footwear that would help them stand out. The Terry de Havilland brand was authentic to its own influences and perfect for partying. Celebrities loved the look and would ask for bespoke designs to be made. This soon took off and the likes of Cher, Kate Moss, Sienna Miller, Laura Whitmore all became fans of the shoes. 

What was the inspiration behind your latest collection?

We’ve recently launched two collections, Disco and Space Cowboy. The former celebrates the return of the party scene, with teetering platforms and wacky colours. The latter combines the current cowboy trends with our Seventies' roots.

What is the ethos of the Terry de Havilland brand?

To create designs which are treasured and loved. They are an investment piece which give confidence and joy to each shopper, empowering them to be who they want to be. Our designs are created by people who have spent their lives learning and loving shoe craftsmanship and this is something to be cherished and celebrated. The designs are not fast fashion pieces and never will be. The Margaux, for example, is still one of our most sought-after shoes and has been in demand for more than 50 years now.

How has the brand evolved over the last few decades? 

Staying to our true to our ethos is always important and ensuring the heritage of the brand is always present is essential. However, we must move with the times, too, and be aware of the environment around us. For example, the original shoes were created using python skin. Now we source natural leathers and vegan materials, which are amazing. This allows us to create the same effect with less of an impact on the environment, which is also important to our shoppers. 

How would you describe your customer base?

Timeless, fearless and fashion forward. Always leading the crowd, embracing style and individuality. We like to collaborate with lifestyle brands. For example, this year we collaborated with Pikes Ibiza to enable our fans to have a shoe to wear as travel restrictions eased, and with artist Jemimasara, to raise awareness of the importance of self-love at a time when it was needed most. 

What drew you to Wolf & Badger?

Wolf & Badger discover and gather together unique ethical brands for their shoppers. They have built a community which gives designers the chance to be noticed. We’re thrilled to be part of their community and can’t wait to share our designs with them.