The awesome Shoe Cult by Nasty Gal is the brand’s first ever footwear label. We’ve profiled Nasty Gal before, and the same attitude and freshness that saw the label take off as an internet sensation is evident in this footwear collection. Shoe Cult gets the double thumbs up.
Because the Shoe Cult styles are all designed by Nasty Gal, you’ll only be able to shop them on the Nasty Gal website. We profile three of the heels today, beginning above with the black City Slicker high heel sandals. These fully lined stilettos have a tapered heel and feature snakeskin detailing and and adjustable buckle closure at the ankle. They’re $68 a pair from Nasty Gal. The second pair of sandals we feature are super-strappy, totally fun and currently on mega-sale! With multiple straps and adjustable buckles, the on-trend Hold Me Tight heel is currently half price at just $44. Hold Me Tight is also available in black. The final pair of sandals we profile from Nasty Gal scream “attitude.” The platform sandals are perfect for stomping around in. They feature a silver metal heel cap and an on-trend oversized buckle. The heel is 5.5 inches with a 1.5 inch platform. This shoe is called Stomping Ground, appropriately enough. It costs just $88 from Nasty Gal.
We all know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but we think we might have discovered the recipe to make a truly ugly pair of high heels. To get started you will need some tan leather and some clear plastic lucite material of the kind usually seen on cheap, stripper heels. Assemble them incongruously, slap on a crazy prize tag and you’re done.
We’ve found two examples of this recipe being used to good effect and in both cases, the offender is the Jeffrey Campbell brand. For their troubles we’re awarding the Jeffrey Campbell design team first and second prize for producing the ugliest high heels of 2012. Quite some achievement.
Which is worse is a close run thing, but we think the 6 inch Zaudrey pump (above) scoops the prize. The silly name of this shoe is probably the best thing about it. Meanwhile its distinctly amateur looking platform could be mistaken for something a child made in woodwork class and is as crass and unharmonious as a string of bum notes on a piano. Add the tacky-looking jagged edges and the sweat-inducing lucite inner and it is difficult to go past this platform as the worst high heel shoe of 2012. And, although it may look cheap it isn’t; if the Jeffrey Campbell Zaudrey floats your boat you can pick it up from Nordstrom for $244.95.
Second prize goes to these Jeffrey Campbell lucite platform boots. Aren’t they just hideous? They look like gumboots for ladies of the night, and not even dainty ones at that. The awful, clumsy stripe down the centre of the front of the heel will at least hopefully detract from the sweaty feet that can be seen from all angles in these shoes. They say “Looks killer paired with absolutely anything!” We say “only with the lights off.” If these 5 inch lucite boots take your fancy, they’re available from Nasty Gal for $198. And, believe it or not, they’ve nearly sold out.
Online retailer Nasty Gal has been something of an internet sensation since its 28-year-old founder Sophia Amoruso opened the shop’s virtual doors in June 2008. Since then the LA based site has raised some $40 million and Forbes has recently reported that the “company is on its way to quadrupling sales this year to $128 million, racking up gross margins of more than 60%.”
So, how did Nasty Gal begin? The story of Sophia’s success tracks the development of the internet over the past few years. Sophia started an eBay store in 2006, selling only vintage clothing. She says that running the store taught her about perceived valued, and how to best present clothing and models to maximise revenue.
Fast forward two years and Sophia had her own Nasty Gal website up and running, and she transferred her social media focus from MySpace (where Nasty Gal had 30,000 followers) to Facebook. The principles Sophia learnt from her eBay days still guide the brand today.
The Nasty Gal phenomenon seems destined to continue to grow. Right now the company has over 50 staff (many hired through online sites Craigslist and LinkedIn) and is hiring dozens more. The positions currently open include an LA based shoe buyer. Amongst other requirements, potential applicants will need 3-5 years of buying and product development experience and a personality that complies with Nasty Gal’s “no assholes” policy. That sounds reasonable to us.
High heels are already an important part of the Nasty Gal brand and hopefully the brand will continue to grow its footwear offerings as it expands. Our favorites right now are these neon yellow Jolt Spike platforms. They’re available from Nasty Gal for $88.
For more on the story of Sophia Amoruso and Nasty Gal, see Sophia’s interview with Victoria Barret of Forbes here: