French Sole

French Sole Shoes

French Sole was born as a gem of an idea in 1968 when shoe designer Jane Winkworth designed her original ballerina style flaties for Michael Gamba at the famous Gamba Shoe Company.

History of French Sole

After an initial capsule collection for Gamba, Jane designed for herself and a small group of friends working at Biba in Kensington Church Street, a unique range of ankle strap ballerinas, made by Annello and Davide and sold to a variety of boutiques in and around Chelsea in what was then "Swinging London".

Jane Winkworth expanded her idea in 1980 by setting up her company French Sole and selling ballerina style flatties from Repetto, Ballerines de Provence and LaBelle from her Chelsea home. This grew so popular that Jane found several other famous Italian and French shoe factories willing to manufacture collections from her own designs which were then sold through a fast expanding Mail Order catalogue and from Jane's own two London stores located in Fulham and Chelsea which opened in 1989.

French Sole now specialise in high end traditional flat footwear with a sophisticated, stylish and sexy edge and are most clearly defined by their signature Ballerina Pumps which are sold around the world through concessions, wholesale outlets and from a Mail Order company currently supplying over half a million customers worldwide.

French Sole continue to expand their fast growing export business and currently supply over two hundred stores around the globe with more shops planned to open in 2005. The company has grown rapidly since 1990 and now employs around twenty two people and operates from two large warehouse units with six offices just outside Reading in Berkshire (UK). The French Sole store in Sloane Street is located within London's most prestigous shopping area with neighbours Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Georgio Armani, Tiffany and Chloe etc.

The company are regularly featured in all the major fashion press and have been featured in several television programmes.

Below is a small selection of pictures showcasing the numerous different styles the French Sole brand offers to its customers.