Katy Chandler and Julie Grinham are the names behind the Upper Street London brand. The two women was inspired to create the brand because of their longing to find the perfect pair of shoes. Upper Street is a website that caters to women who want to design beautiful shoes that fit their tastes perfectly. Their shoes are all handmade, crafted by skilled workers who have decades of experience.
Currently, they have only eight shoe styles on the site: heeled sandal, platform sandal, ballet flat, pointed court, rounded toe court, platform court, peep toe and platform peep toe. There are several designs and heel heights for each of these styles, about 3-5 style options that you can choose from. Your chosen style will be the base of your custom design. They also have bridal shoes and bridesmaids shoes that can be customized. Shoes are priced at £195 – £265 and there are extra charges of about £20 – £35 for added embellishments like Swarovski crystals, studs or premium materials like satin or snakeskin used on the shoe.
Equipped with a state of the art design studio, the website makes it very easy for anyone to create a fashionable custom design. Depending on the shoe style you choose, you will be able to customize the upper shape, front, back, straps, color and even put in embellishments. There is a great variety of color options, from fine leather skins to animal prints and skins. The studio also displays quite an accurate representation of your custom shoe design.
The company is based in the UK but they do accept orders worldwide. Production and shipping can take approximately 6 weeks or more, since all of the custom shoes are handmade. You can also order swatches beforehand, if you want to see up close the materials used for the shoes. For returns or issue with your orders, you must contact them within 7 working days to request for return approval.
Overall, Upper Street boasts a very impressive website, product quality and customization service. Because of their wide shoe variety and custom style options, designing a custom shoe is not just easy, it is also fun and enjoyable. Their price point is a little expensive but considering the results, it is well worth the splurge.
Upper Street sold and renamed to Shoes Of Prey
Same as the American website Milk & Honey Shoes the British based Upper Street also has been sold to the Australian shoe shop “Shoes Of Prey” in December 2015. The reasons given on the website and on social media platforms like Facebook were the decision to “pursue new endeavours, and as a result the business will be closing its doors. Upper Street customers are now being welcomed into the Shoes of Prey family”.
As shown on Crunchbase “Shoes Of Prey” has received a new Series B investment of $15.5 Million from Blue Sky Venture Capital and other investors in December 2015. Although this new capital would have allowed Shoes of Prey to purchase Upper Street comfortably, there was no official acquisition. Shoes of Prey writes on their website:
The founders of Upper Street have been longtime friends of Shoes of Prey and asked us to look after their customers. That was a request we couldn’t resist; any shoe-lover is a friend to us!
Upper Street Ltd was not acquired by Shoes of Prey. Only select assets were acquired, such as the goodwill and customer database.
Gift certificates from Upper Street will be honoured by Shoes of Prey as provided by Upper Street from December 1st.
Shoes of Prey shuts down in 2018
After almost ten years in business, Shoes of Prey has announced that they stopped taking orders on August 28, 2018.
Founder Jodie Fox announced the shut down in an Instagram post: “We are making the difficult decision today to pause orders and actively assess all our options to either sell, or at a later date, reboot the business with substantial changes,”
“We will cease normal trading as we go through this process. Our customers with outstanding orders will either receive their shoes as promised, or a full refund if we have been unable to make their shoes before this pause.”
Alternatives for Custom High Heels
Since Shoes of Prey has bought up so many other custom high heel manufacturers, there are only a handful of websites left that allow customers to design their own highheels. Have a look at Nina Shoes, Atelier Shoes, or Maguba.