"I put cork in my shoes to look taller": A-list favourite Isabel Marant on idea that inspired her bestselling $600 wedge sneakers


'I put cork in my shoes to look taller': A-list favourite Isabel Marant on idea that inspired her bestselling $600 wedge sneakers

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UPDATED:

23:06 GMT, 27 September 2012

Isabel Marant, the designer behind those ubiquitous wedge sneakers that can reach between $600 and $1,000 on eBay, has revealed how she came up with idea behind her now sold-out shoes.

Just days away from her spring 2013 show in Paris, where off-duty models like Miranda Kerr are strolling the cobblestone streets in the hidden-heel sneaker creations, Ms Marant humbly admits her simple genius behind the brand's biggest commercial hit yet.

The 45-year-old told Fashionista: 'It’s something I did since I was a teenager. I would cut up cork and put pieces of cork into my sneakers because I wanted to look taller… And I thought I should really achieve something around this idea.'

Cult following: Dakota Fanning (left), Miranda Kerr (centre) and Kate Bosworth (right) are all avid fans of Isabel Marant's hidden heel wedge sneakers

Cult following: Dakota Fanning (left), Miranda Kerr (centre) and Kate Bosworth (right) are all avid fans of Isabel Marant's hidden heel wedge sneakers

Cult following: Dakota Fanning (left), Miranda Kerr (centre) and Kate Bosworth (right) are all avid fans of Isabel Marant's hidden heel wedge sneakers

Cult following: Dakota Fanning (left), Miranda Kerr (centre) and Kate Bosworth (right) are all avid fans of Isabel Marant's hidden heel wedge sneakers

The sneaker: The wedge sneakers a hidden heel to lengthen the appearance of your legs, while keeping your feet comfortable enough to wear on a Sunday sojourn

The sneaker: The sold out wedge sneakers have a hidden heel to lengthen the appearance of your legs, while keeping your feet comfortable enough to wear on a Sunday sojourn

The sneaker: The sold out wedge sneakers have a hidden heel to lengthen the appearance of your legs, while keeping your feet comfortable enough to wear on a Sunday sojourn

'Sneakers are so comfortable but at
the same time it’s not very elegant. To have a little heel in it makes a
difference, it gives you legs – I mean, I know women, I am a woman, so I
know what we are searching for!' she added.

The queen of Parisian cool, and inventor of downtown-to-uptown 'must haves' has built a business around the French girl with a just-rolled-out-of-bed, can’t-be-bothered look – equal
parts confidence and nonchalance.

Isabel Marant: The queen of Parisian cool, and inventor of downtown-to-uptown 'must haves', has revealed how she came up with those ubiquitous wedge sneakers

Isabel Marant: The queen of Parisian cool has revealed how she came up with those ubiquitous wedge sneakers

Which is why when she launched her wedge sneakers, they made so
much sense not only to her usual bohemian customer, but to women worldwide; and the
brands that frenziedly copied her design.

'It’s always about bringing
self-confidence. I’m like every woman, so I try to work on how to look
slimmer or how to look taller but not being overdressed,' she explains.

'I think most of the time when you dress
in the morning, you go towards something that’s very pretty but at the
end you say, ‘Ah, no, I’m having a hard day, I need to have something
easy that I’m not afraid to break.’ It’s a balance of fashion and a way
of life.'

The designer, speaking from the opening of her newest Paris store at 151 avenue Victor Hugo in the 16th arrondissement, also revealed how her label, synonymous with the young hip girls of Paris, decided to relocate to the old-world prestige of the 16th.

She says: 'Originally we wanted to increase the size of the store in St. Germain.

'Then we found out that most of the
customers that come over [to the St. Germain store] were coming from the
west of Paris. So we said, “Why not open straight away in the west”

'We
started to search, and we found one here that I really loved because it
reminds me of my grandparents’ picture studio. They had the same [style
of] building, and I quite like that it’s a separate building, that it’s
not really a shop, it’s like a little house in Paris.'

Mom approved: Alessandra Ambrosio (left) and Beyonce Knowles (right) are often spotted wearing theirs

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Mom approved: Alessandra Ambrosio (left) and Beyonce Knowles (right) are often spotted wearing theirs

After 15 years in the business, with a rock-solid fan base and booming boutiques, her new store marks another push in her international expansion.

Her store in Tokyo recently opened for business and plans to open in Seoul and Los Angeles are currently in the works.