The term “statement shoe” has its connotations. It can be thought of as a street-style thing, where influencers are vying for attention and trying to top each other’s look-at-me ensembles. It can be a red-carpet thing, with crystals and other exquisite embellishments underneath the couture gowns of actresses. It can be a fashion thing, when models venture out onto the runway in the most perilous and/or jaw-dropping of footwear.
But the most satisfying statement shoes are often the ones that live in a more quotidian way; the footwear that elicits a reaction from a non-fashion person in a non-fashion environment.
Such was the immediate experience I had upon trying Yuul Yie’s pumps. South Korean designer Sunyuul Yie may have been in the shoe game since 2010, but it’s only in the past few years that she has gained traction in the U.S. and Europe — which is why she was named one of FN’s Emerging Designers for 2018. Her quirky, artful creations are now sold at Nordstrom, Dover Street Market, Harvey Nichols, Shopbop, 10 Corso Como and Level Shoes in Dubai (to name just a few).
The author in New York, wearing Yuul Yie’s sculptural leather pumps.
CREDIT: George Chinsee
I received a pair of