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Seven steps to perfect shoes

Shoppers that can’t find the footwear they want can get creative and design their own on Upper Street.

Upper Street was launched in March by sisters Julia Grinham and Katy Chandler in response to their own frustrations at not being able to find the perfect pair of shoes. They wanted to give footwear shoppers the chance to design their own styles.

The site, at, works by allowing customers to design their shoes in seven different stages. Customers can choose the last shape, style, colour and material of the shoe in a simple and effortless process.

Throughout each stage of the process customers can review their design so far and use the 360-degree view option to see how the finished product will look. The site also offers a ‘Get Inspiration’ section where users can view other designs that have been created, and read advice on how to make the perfect shoe using certain materials - for example the ‘Sparkle Gallery’ shows how embellishments can add glamour. Customers can also buy previously designed shoes rather than designing their own.

Upper Street shows how an online store can really enhance the shopping experience and gives customers something that is hard to find on the high street. Online tools make the design process easy and the personal element of creating the shoe makes the customer feel they have an exclusive product.

The site not only appeals to the consumer but also to womenswear designer Jasper Garvida, who has collaborated with Upper Street to design a footwear collection for spring 11. Garvida designed his styles using the Upper Street site and the collection will be available to buy at in February. Garvida says: “This is the first season where I’ve been able to have the ultimate shoes which match my collection perfectly.”

Endorsement like this is sure to increase Upper Street’s appeal and attract customers looking to find the designer within themselves or those wanting to customise footwear for a special occasion.

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