This is the story of a pair of shoes that made their way home after fifty or so years...
The shoes themselves are velvet on the outside, with the most wonderful sparkly buckles on their fronts. I wonder where they were worn? Cocktail parties? Gala openings of West End plays? Oooo, the elegance of them!
Rayne shoes was founded in London in 1885 and went on to supply footwear to the likes of Anna Pavlova, the Diaghilev Ballet, Jessie Mathews, Vivien Leigh and a stream of well-connected society ladies. Queen Elizabeth II even wore a pair of Rayne shoes when she married Prince Phillip in 1947.
After having the pleasure of owning these shoes, there came a point where I thought it was perhaps time that someone else had a chance to have them in their life, so (with a slightly heavy heart) I decided to sell them. So, off they went on to eBay and part of me hoped they wouldn't be bought!
Well, perhaps Fate had something to do with it, because they were indeed given a new home...by the Rayne family themselves! I could hardly believe my eyes when I read who'd bought them and I couldn't resist sending a message to their new owner to find out more. I found out it was the original founders of Rayne's great grandson, Nick Rayne, who'd bought them. Nick told me, "I am from the fourth generation who worked for the firm and left it 25 years ago when it was sold. I am now trying to relaunch Rayne as it has been out of circulation for many years. And to do this I am collecting a few prime examples of old Rayne shoes". All very exciting!
So, there's a happy ending to this story. The shoes have 'gone home' and who knows? perhaps we'll be able to wear elegant Rayne shoes in the future once more. This time, I'll make sure I buy some that are actually in my size!