Behind the Shoe- The Mimosa Story
Posted on December 16 2019
A customer once said to me that my Mimosa shoe would end up in the V&A Museum, because it was such a design classic. Flattered but embarrassed I obviously laughed it off, but that was several years ago now and with Mimosa showing no sign of slowing up I'm beginning to think that maybe, just maybe they were right.
It is, without doubt the design for which I am most known and as I sit here today and Google 'Rachel Simpson Mimosa' there are 910,000 results. It's been green, blue, ivory, rose gold, silver, gold, fuschia and glittery. For our tenth birthday we even created a bejewelled version, embellished with Swarovski crystals! There are more than one copycat versions of it on the market (imitation is the highest form of flattery apparently, but I'm not so sure), and all in all it's had quite an impact on the bridal footwear market.
I've lost count of how many weddings Mimosa has been a part of. That's the bit I'm most proud of- how much joy this shoe has brought and how many beautiful brides have chosen to wear it down the aisle. I never tire of seeing photos and hearing the stories of how much our brides loved their shoes.
What was the inspiration behind Mimosa?
Often people ask me where I got the inspiration for Mimosa from, and I used to think my answer was a bit lame so would try and make something up! But the truth is that it just came to me, it was an idea in my head and I literally just picked up a pencil and didn't stop drawing until I'd got the design down. I know that's probably not the most eloquent of answers and I should come up with something far more poetic, but that's the truth. It was the same with our long running Mimi shoe, and I think those two shoes really epitomise my signature style- t-bar, elegant, slightly vintage, beautiful. Weirdly I knew it would be a best seller as soon as I drew it, and I'm thrilled it still continues to be.
What do you think people love so much about Mimosa?
There are so many elements to Mimosa- people have called the shapes on the front petals, teardrops and and even a butterfly! That means they can compliment a real variety of wedding styles. They obviously have a vintage edge with the 1920s style t-bar shape, but are far from old fashioned! Above all I think they're just really, really pretty, which sounds simple but at the end of the day that's how most of us want to feel on our wedding day.
Looks only get you so far of course, and after people fall in love with the style of Mimosa, once they try them on they really fall head over heels! I spent a lot of time perfecting the cut of the shoe, to make sure it sits on the foot in all the right places; it's not cut too low that you see loads of toe cleavage, nor too high that it cuts into the wider part of your foot. This carefully created pattern means it fits around 90% of people, further helped of course by the super soft leather which truly shapes to fit the foot shape with each wear.
Tell us something no one knows about Mimosa
There are around 30 individual pieces of leather in each shoe, that's 60 per pair! At the beginning these were cut by hand, before special knives were made as seen in the photo below. These have to be carefully arranged by hand onto the large piece of leather to avoid any wastage, before being cut with a hand press. Then of course they're all stitched together by hand- it takes a lot of skill and patience!
There are around 30 pieces of leather per shoe which make up Mimosa. Photo by Emma Case Photography
Every pair of Mimosa are stitched together by hand which takes a lot of skill and patience. Photo by Emma Case Photography
You can take a look inside our factory in our short film here.
What has been the most popular Mimosa?
Ooh that's a tricky one! Over the years we've seen trends come and go which means some years ivory is our bestseller, and sometimes it's a colour. Pale mint Mimosa is one of the most pinned wedding shoes on Pinterest and definitely a Rachel Simpson classic. More recently the beautiful rose gold quartz Mimosa has proved very popular- it really is very beautiful glitter- and of course this year all other colours seem to have been eclipsed by the super popular forest green!
Mimosa has also been the inspiration behind a number of styles in the collection- you can particularly see her influence in styles Isla, Gardenia and Rosita.
Mimosa forest green is perfect for an Autumn Winter wedding. Photo by Talia White Photography
Gardenia was designed as a closed toe sister style to Mimosa. Photo by Talia White Photography
Are there any future plans for Mimosa?
Always! As I mentioned, we've seen so many trends come and go and it's great to enjoy that with new colours and materials. We've got exciting plans in 2020 to collaborate with another designer to create a truly special Mimosa, which is going to be a lot of fun- watch this space!