About 7 years back I purchased by first pair of Rocket Originals saddle shoes. It was such a relief to find flat footwear that was still vintage, looked good with skirts as well as trousers and were super comfy at events! They were also great for dancing in! This year I got some Veronica Sandals as I wanted something a little more glamorous, but still very practical. Usually very nervous about solid soled shoes, I was really surprised how comfortable these are and I cannot wait to prance around Greece in them this June!
Taken by Shona Van Beers, War & Peace 2010
At this year’s Stoneleigh Militaria I stumbled across their glorious stall and realised that I had been completely unaware that Rocket did clothing too! They had a lovely little selection of women’s tops and I will show you a couple now. Sometimes being a mum is messy work, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still want my vintage/ retro look. Rocket Originals’ knitwear is made of acrylic, fits like a dream and is easy to bung in the wash. I’ve twinned mine with Heyday trousers and Collectif capris!
Kaye was kind enough to answer a few questions for me…
You are famed for you vintage style shoes, what made you branch out into clothing?
It’s always been a mixture of footwear and clothing. We were first trading in 1988, and back then we sold vintage clothing we imported direct from the USA and bought from various dealers in the UK, a range of T Shirts which we screen printed ourselves and footwear. We started having our own brand of ladies footwear and knitwear manufactured in 2006, and men’s shirts from 2008.
Everyone knows what a sucker for knitwear I am, have you a favourite piece in your range?
We don’t really have favourites, we choose the patterns carefully so they’re all styles we really like. We particularly liked the Victory sweaters (free pattern still available on the V&A website). Another we’ve liked is our fairisle square neck style, which we had knitted in loads of colour variations.
There are so many amazing 40’s, 50’s and 60’s styles. How did you choose what to make?
We have trouble choosing what NOT to make! It’s easy really, out of our collection we pick the styles we like and think our customers would prefer. We have all our own brand of shoes and clothing made as ‘limited editions’ and bring out new stock rather than remaking the same styles, because there’s still such a lot to go at. There are so many vintage shoes and patterns etc that we have in our collection and want to copy, and we’re always looking for more.
I had a pair of your super saddle shoes and couldn’t believe the comfort and quality! Do you have a favourite style?
We have loads of favourite styles. We love our saddle shoes (copied from a vintage American pair we bought), our recent Gibson style, and also have a lot of favourites among the ladies wedges. Some of the men’s shoes are hand made in England and we like them for their quality.
What is your favourite era and why?
Our favourite era is early 50’s American. But we love anything from the 40’s and 50’s for lots of reasons, be it music, clothing, cars and furnishings. We also love art deco homes and furniture and that was the style for our last home, but our current one is mid century modern.
So make sure you head on over to the Rocket Originals website or visit their stall at events. From sandals to stripey sweaters, they really do compliment your vintage wardrobe beautifully!
Rocket Originals white Veronica Sandals worn with Heyday skirt and blouse