New Year, New Shoes — Give Your Feet A Fresh Start With These Becki Coakley Heels
Now that we’re kicking off a new year, it seems like the perfect time to shine a spotlight on an exciting new footwear designer who specializes in clean, graceful, elegant, minimalist designs that stand out thanks to the unexpected and clever way in which they incorporate sharp lines, symmetrical cut-outs, bold geometric shapes, and swooping curved sides. A Charleston, South Carolina native, Becki Coakley says her aesthetic is heavily influenced by her Southern roots. “I believe my designs and my personal style tend to incorporate chic, sophisticated lines but also feature a girly Southern side,” she muses.” For example, I love bows — the bigger the better! For my current collection, I also drew inspiration from the architecture of some of the beautiful buildings in Charleston.”
Coakley also cites her fashion-forward mother and her enviable shoe collection as inspirations. “My mom’s high heel mules were the first pair of shoes that I fell in love with,” says Coakley, who now lives in Denver, Colorado. “I remember putting them on when I was about 4 years old and flip flopping around the house in them. I felt so tall, and they were so comfortable! I believe those shoes started my love for easy-to-get-into heels!”
That might explain, then, why one of the most stunning shoes in Coakley’s current collection is a simple slip-on number with a whole lot of attitude. The Becki Coakley Charlene Bootie ($457 at BeckiCoakley.com), shown above at top, combines the ease of a mule with the practicality and elegance of a bootie, then adds major sex appeal thanks to 4.3″ heel, the deep, curved cut-outs along the sides of the ankle, the high heel counter, the deep vertical center slit along the vamp, and the cheeky tassel dangling above the open toe. To add even more versatility to the style, Coakley designed the ankle collar so that it could be flipped up or down depending on whether you desire a simple and slightly futuristic look or you’re going for a more downtown, edgy vibe.
But, of course, Coakley believes all woman’s closet should incorporate a “sexy strappy sandal, classic pump, a cute flat, a bootie, and a mule,” so she set out to provide chic options that cover these must-have styles but, of course, ensuring they’re all consistent with her brand’s P.O.V. “I love to design shoes that are simple in context but have that extra eye-catching detail that takes them to the next level,” Coakley explains.
This approach to footwear design is evident in one of the standout heels in the debut collection: the Becki Coakley Essie Sandal ($497 at BeckiCoakley.com), pictured third and fourth above, which features an ankle strap with two rows of semi-circles stacked atop each other, their rounded peaks kissing along the center of the band and intricate cut-outs separating the symmetrical shapes and adding a bit of spacial relief — all yielding a Mod-flavored effect that references the Swinging 60s yet feels completely contemporary. The bright fuchsia color, the 4.5″ heel, the funky shapes along the ankle band, and the otherwise simple silhouette create the perfect balance between saucy and suave, playful and polished. And, of course, the golden clasp securing the ankle band is a refreshing departure from standard zippered or lace-up closures.
Another standout is the Becki Coakley Leslie Sandal ($497 at BeckiCoakley.com), shown fifth and sixth above, featuring a fascinating framework of overlapping and intersecting leather straps. The sides of the heel feature two perfectly angled straps that accentuate the arch of the foot, eventually leading up to a horizontal strap below the open vamp. Two crisscrossed straps above the toe, meanwhile, add a dynamo energy to the design, while the three buckled straps at the ankle infuse a dose of power and confidence. But perhaps the most special part of this must-have shoe is the gold ring accent along the heel counter, through which the straps are looped. Coakley came up with the idea of incorporating the ring after looking at her handbag and marveling at one of the rings therein. The detail, however, will also appeal to romantics who associate golden rings with infinity, marriage vows, and circles of life.
If rounded toe pumps in black patent leather seem like a snooze, you’ll be doing cartwheels over the Becki Coakley Candice Pump ($437 at BeckiCoakley.com), shown seventh and eight above. At its core, the shoe is a 4.7″-tall, pointy toe leather pump, but the cut-out covering around the heel adds a futuristic element, as does the high ankle collar trim, and the curved, sloping sides, which reveal just a touch of skin.
All the heels in the current collection feature at least a 4″-tall heel, so they’re definitely not for those who live in ballet slippers, but let’s get real: when does a woman feel sexier than when her figure is lengthened, her calves are accentuated, and her confidence is boosted by a really high heel?
As if Becki Coakley’s formidable designs weren’t enough to root for her future success, there’s also the fact that she’s so personally invested in each shoe that she names every style after an inspiring person in her life. The “Essie,” for instance, was named after her mother-in-life, who she describes as a “spitfire of a lady.” The “Leslie” shoe, meanwhile, was named after Coakley’s husband since the golden ring detail along the back reminded her of her own wedding and her years of marriage. The “Charlene,” one of my current obsessions, got its moniker from Coakley’s sister, an elementary school teacher, whose personal style the designer describes as “casual sexy.”