Lilly has been pursuing a career in bespoke shoemaking since 2013, inspired by work experience with distinguished Savile Row tailor Richard Anderson, Lilly cultivated her experience with five years at a bespoke men’s footwear boutique and work at leading British bespoke shoemaker James Taylor and Son. She has also undertaken work placements with experienced British pattern cutter Jack Sylvester, and worked alongside German shoemaker Steve Apeah. While the majority of Lilly’s bespoke shoes have been made for men, and in a standard set of styles, a completely different skillset is required to create the diverse range of patterns and styles of women’s couture shoes – a challenge which she is determined to take on.
With support from QEST, Lilly will apprentice for two years with Caroline Groves at Atelier Groves and Company. Caroline is the leading British craftswoman producing bespoke women’s shoes within the UK industry, and is renowned for her excellent craftsmanship as well as her unique designs which blur the lines between fashion, art and fantasy. The apprenticeship will cover the entirety of the women’s shoemaking process, working in a variety of materials alongside leather including silk, crochet and embroidery, and learning to hand-finish shoes.