THE GAMBLER: Alexis Gamblin is ready to take a gamble on his own name. The veteran shoe designer whose career spans 20 years is launching his own collection. Gamblin, a French native, honed his skills at Charles Jourdan in Paris. “I was so lucky to work directly with such incredible talent. For me, Charles Jourdan is an ode to women; it represents the quintessence of creativity and femininity.” He moved to the States in 2004 to work for Isabella Fiore and ended up at Cole Haan in 2006, where he quickly found himself working on the Maria Sharapova collaboration line as he put it as “they realized I would have more fun with that collection.” After a stint at Rachel Roy that ended when Jones bought the brand, Gamblin was ready for his own collection.

The 14 piece line is built around “three women that I know and my idea of what they would wear.” He said he designs for the “closet of a woman and not the trends.” The result is a wardrobe that ranges from pumps and flats of similar design; modernized evening sandals, and an array of boots from Chelsea to a chunky heeled classic style to a retro-inspired pump-bootie.

While the silhouettes are the making of most designer priced collections, what sets his line apart is the details. Most apparent is the Lou pump and Lili ballet flat which both feature a purposely mismatched pair. For example, a gold metallic specchio pump is entirely gold on the left shoe and the right shoe is three quarters gold with a black napa section on the side. Additionally, a sole is narrowed to create a more “sensual effect,” according to Gamblin, that when viewed from behind allows more of the upper to be seen with less sole. Other details like a higher vamp with an asymmetrical cut-out add a sexy detail.

The sensual effect is also carried out in a ruched suede ribbon effect detail that comes to finer slim point down the back of a heel, the effect has a slight resemblance to the female form. The shoes, which will retail starting at about $600 for a flat to about a $1,650 for an over-the-knee style boot, are just beginning to show at market and are still confirming retail accounts.

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