Friday, 22 February 2013

These Shoes Were Made for Walking...

This is the story of a pair of shoes that made their way home after fifty or so years...

These are perhaps the most elegant pair of shoes I've ever owned. I bought them from a vintage shop a few years ago. Now, this is the bit where I confess to a bit of girliness...they weren't in my size and I would never have been able to wear them, but they were just so pretty. I had to have them, if only to look at!

They even came in their original box.

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 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!


Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

Oh what a great story Katie!
You were meant to buy those shoes for a very good reason!!!
The twists and turns of fate are definitely stranger than fiction and your story is proof.

Isn't it wonderful that a young member of the Rayne family sees a future for such beautiful shoes again.

pssst.... don't tell anyone, but I would have bought them too even if they didn't fit me - love the velvet and the buckle!!!
Shane ♥

Pomona said...

I remember Rayne shoes - and no wonder you bought them - they are truly very wonderful with a rather fairytale air about them!

Pomona x

AnniD said...

This story is so Katie. Love it! So glad they were spotted by the right person.Another treasure seeker? xx

lemonade kitty said...

What a lovely story with a true fairytale ending, lucey xx

Murgatroyd said...

How did I miss this tale? Fabulous story Katie. Wow!

Lindsay Daffurn said...

Oh WOW! What a fabulous story Katie! The shoes went home! Quite emotional really!

twochics onafence said...

Thank you for telling your story. It was so wonderful. I would have bought them too :)