Celeb-Favorite Sarah Flint Releases New Shoe Collection Inspired By Avignon, France

By Jordi Lippe-McGraw, Contributor
Charming architecture and the history of Avignon, France inspired Sarah Flint's latest collection. getty

Famed shoe designer Sarah Flint has racked up a massive celebrity following with clients ranging from Meghan Markle to Blake Lively. And to keep the creative inspiration flowing, Flint turns to one key thing: travel. She used the famous Newby Hall Estate in Yorkshire, England, to inspire her Fall/Winter 2020 collection and is now turning to Avignon, France, for her Fall/Winter 2021 line. 

This season's collection highlights the crown jewel of the French countryside in autumn. Flint aimed to capture fresh pastries on chilly mornings, bustling antique markets, rooms of swirling moldings, and patterned couches perfect for curling up. That resulted in details like ornate prints, filigree metalwork, and signature silhouettes in warm, romantic palettes. 

The Kim flat, for example, features dainty miniature bows and a pointed toe, all of which was inspired by the intricate details found in French crown molding, crosshatched windowpanes, and details from classic French prints. 

The Kim features a striking pattern. Sarah Flint

"I was really drawn to its architectural beauty and historic importance," Flint told me. "Avignon was the capital of the papacy from 1309-1377, and the Pope's Palace there is a gorgeous example of Gothic design. Twice a year, the city also hosts one of the most famous antique fairs in the world, which was so inspiring for me to see since I gather a lot of ideas from interiors."

The Beverly—complete with pleated and draped straps—was inspired by the glamorous drapery in the boutique hotel, La Mirande, where Flint stayed in Avignon.  

The draping of the shoe mimics the draping of the hotel where Flint stayed. Sarah Flint

"Much of the collection was inspired by the boutique hotel La Mirande, which is centuries old and beautifully decorated with luxurious textiles and antiques," Flint told me. "Many of their rooms feature Pierre Frey fabrics, which led me to incorporate Pierre Frey prints on our new limited-edition styles. I also drew from the hotel's ornate cornice work and filigree detailing, which you'll see pop up on shoes debuting later in the season."  

In fact, the entire hotel is coated in signature and archival prints from Pierre Frey from the walls, and curtains, to the pillows and bedding. So, Flint decided to work with Pierre Frey to scale two of their signature prints down to adorn some shoes and hair accessories this season.

Travel has become a leading source of inspiration for the young shoe designer who has used trips to the United Kingdom, Italy, and more for designs. 

"I love to see various styles of architecture from different historical periods, but I especially love to get up close and see the many intricate details that go into a certain door, or archway, or ceiling," she said. "Traveling really lets me immerse myself in a new location and follow wherever my curiosity takes me." 

Clearly, that curiosity turned creativity is attracting plenty of attention. But, of course, the Duchess of Sussex isn't the only fan of the brand. Several A-listers like Lady Gaga and Amal Clooney have been seen out and about donning the classic, yet modern footwear and supermodel Jasmine Tookes recently donned a custom pair for her stunning wedding. All new designs will be available on SarahFlint.com.

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