Angela Scott’s heirloom-worthy designs—offering burnished leathers and hand-painted stripes—build on the legacy of handcrafted shoes in Portugal.
While some fashion brands are reinventing themselves during the COVID-19 crisis, Angela Scott is doubling down on her love for traditional shoemaking. The self-taught designer behind The Office of Angela Scott built a shoe brand from scratch just nine years ago, led by a desire to create a product that would support and empower women.
Now, amidst a world of change, including the recent loss of her beloved grandmother and a factory shutdown in Portugal, Scott’s new fall collection reflects an even greater reverence for time-honored traditions. Offering hand-detailed patterns and resoleable construction, her new shoe designs pull the past forward with styles inspired by the ageless beauty of women. Below, she speaks about her unconventional journey and how the brand has responded to current uncertainties.
How did you get started as a designer?
Angela Scott: I always had a love for footwear but fashion school seemed unattainable, too expensive to afford on my own. I received a partial scholarship to the University of California at Santa Barbara and worked at a construction company to help pay tuition. I fell in love with the process of building. From the concept to the drawings and then seeing the completed structure—I was totally fascinated. But that’s also where I learned I didn’t want to be a woman running in high heels behind men, because that was me. I was around an all-male crew 99 percent of the time, and I felt that I had to dress in a certain way to be taken seriously. It made an impression on me, and I wanted to change it.
When my husband and I moved to Dallas for his career, I went to work in public relations for Neiman Marcus, which resparked my love for fashion. At Neiman Marcus I saw a divide in the offerings for women in the way of flat shoes. In the mens department I would see these incredible lace up brogues and stunning dress shoes but none of the sort for women. Not being a ballet-flat-kind-of girl meant my other choices were stilettos or boots.
See the full story on Dwell.com: