Pretty Ballerinas, the luxury Spanish brand that specialises in handmade flat shoes loved by celebrities all over the world has teamed up with New York-based illustrator, fashion collector and fashion director at The Sartorialist, Jenny Walton, for a Spring Summer 2021 capsule collection.
The collection consists of four groups of ballet flats, each with an element of the freshness, subtlety and elegance that define both Walton and the Pretty Ballerinas brand.
Below, BAZAAR spoke exclusively to Walton about the collaboration, her top tips for styling a pair of ballet flats and her love for NYC.
How did your collaboration with Pretty Ballerinas initially come about?
Pretty Ballerinas initially reached out to me about collaborating and I was immediately excited about the idea because of my background in design. I took a shoe design elective when I was at Parsons and my best friend is a shoe designer so it was a very exciting prospect.
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What is it that you like most about the brand?
I like that it is a brand with a heritage so it was wonderful to work with very classic, timeless shapes. It was more about putting my spin on new colours and materials.
From initial sketches to the final product, can you walk us through the creative process and how you found it?
The creative process is always the most fun for me. I love coming up with different colour combinations and working on the layouts and different interpretations on the idea of a floral motif. Nature always intrigues me and so I looked for different ways to interpret it onto the shoes.
The daisy has become a signature motif of yours, what is it that draws you to the flower?
I enjoy the symmetry and the simplicity of the daisy. I grew up in the 1990s/early 2000s when the daisy print was really on trend so that definitely inspired me. I also got a lot of inspiration from the 1950s. I enjoy mixing elements of the two.
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If you had to pick, which would be your favourite design from the collection and why?
Personally, I love the Swarovski crystal ballerina flats. As a vegetarian, I wanted to work with materials like cotton and fabric to propose sustainable alternatives (instead of only doing leather shoes).
How would you describe your signature style?
I try to keep it classic but I enjoy playing with colour and moving from uniform to uniform. I find there are some classic pieces from the ‘50s and ‘60s that I never get tired of.
Ballet flats have been a fashion staple for decades, why do you think that is?
I think because they are classic and stylish but also so functional. People are often drawn to the beauty of ballet as well.
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What are your top tips for elevating a pair of ballet flats for a night out?
I think an easy way is to wear a dress or skirt. This is why I love the crystal ballerina flats, because the crystals help dress up the idea of the ballerina flat.
The Jenny Walton x Pretty Ballerinas campaign was shot on the streets of New York, what do you love most about the city?
I love that the city is always changing. It keeps you from ever becoming too stagnant. I live right where Soho meets Chinatown and NOHO and Little Italy, so it’s an exciting place to be and depending on which direction you decide to walk, you can be in a completely different surrounding with a different energy and that’s always exciting. I like that there’s always something to look at.
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For those who have never been to NYC, what are the best things to do and see?
The best thing to do in a city you don’t know is to walk like crazy (so pack your ballerina flats). I’m excited for movie theatres and different things to open back up. If you haven’t been to the city before, I would recommend the MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art), the MoMA (The Museum of Modern Art) and the American Museum of Natural History. I’ve also had a lot of fun walking over the Williamsburg and Brooklyn bridges lately. The view of the city from Domino Park in Williamsburg and Dumbo are wonderful to experience. I think it’s also important to have a good bagel. Black Seed Bagel or Murray’s Bagels always do nicely.
The Pretty Ballerinas x Jenny Walton collection is available now on prettyballerinas.com.sg and Pretty Ballerinas #02-47 Paragon and #B1-50 Takashimaya S.C., Ngee Ann City.