Shoe designer Jane Winkworth started her career in 1968 with her first small collection of ballet inspired footwear made by Gamba and Annello and Davide.
In 1989 Jane launched the original and now world famous international brand French Sole which grew from the humble origins of a Mail Order company based in Jane’s home in Markham Square, Chelsea, in London to the first store in Fulham and then to Sloane Square and onwards to Marylebone and the famous Kings Road in Chelsea with an outlet store in prestigious Weybridge in Surrey.
Huge press coverage followed Jane in 1993 when the late Princess of Wales bought twelve pairs of Jane’s ballet flats and then became a regular and devoted customer until her death. The Princess had taken two new pairs of shoes with her to St Tropez on her last trip and Jane regularly visited Kensington Palace to take shoes to the Princess. Jane supplied all the Princess’ ballet flats for her official trips to Hong Kong and to Argentina and also for the private visit to Pakistan with Imran and Jemima Khan.
Jane has grown the business from a small beginning to a global brand name recognized the world over by stylish and fashionable women and all the major fashion magazines and media. This remarkable company now supply all major department stores and retail outlets globally with Jane Winkworth’s unique designs winning several major fashion awards including voted “Best Ballet Flats” by both Vogue and Glamour magazines
Jane Winkworth is officially listed in the top one hundred most influential businesswomen in the United Kingdom.
In 2002 to-gether with co-directors Ben Scott and Lucy Choi (the niece of legendary shoe maker Jimmy Choo and the sister of Sandra Choy, creative director of Jimmy Choo) – Jane conquered the American market with the opening of their first USA based store is super fashionable Montana Avenue, Santa Monica in Los Angeles. The celebrities flocked to the store and the first collection was a sell out in two weeks. Stores in San Francisco, Miami and a New York showroom quickly followed.
Due to a trademark legality with a similar company attempting to imitate Jane’s success – the name London Sole was chosen for the American market. This proved a winning decision with American’s adoring everything English and in particular the “London” look so instantly recognisable in Jane’s designs.
Jane Winkworth is semi-retired and now leaves the running of the companies to her co-directors and her amazingly loyal staff, many who have been with Jane for over ten years and some from the original concept . Jane Winkworth is married with three children and three grandchildren and divides her time between homes in the Surrey countryside, Chelsea in London, Portugal and Los Angeles.
Jane continues to design and retains control over concept and design of all shoes manufactured under the trademarked brand names French Sole, London Sole, Pirouette and Confetti.
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