Pound Ridge shoe designer Gwen Frempong Boadu, who grew up in Virginia, got the fashion bug early on. “My grandmother taught me to sew when I was twelve,” she says. “I was skinny with very long legs, so nothing fit me and I ended up making a lot of my own clothes.” But, as all women well know, shoes fit whether you’re too thin (really, is there such a thing?) or carrying a few extra slices of pizza. So Frempong Boadu’s love affair with footwear began. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising from Centenary College and an associate’s degree in Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology, the shoe lover—she admits to a personal collection exceeding 100 pairs—spent more than two decades in the footwear industry.
Following stints designing for such well-known labels as Sam & Libby and Steven by Steve Madden, in 2007 Frempong Boadu launched Gwyneth Shoes, her own line of “stylish, sophisticated, and comfortable shoes for real women.” Thanks to her patented sock cushion and flexible soles, she says, her designs are sexy but still comfortable to wear. Shoes in the fall collection start at $129; boots start at $275. Blue by Gwyneth Shoes, a collection of bridal and special-occasion shoes, debuted last year, and range from $139 to $250. Today offered in more than 20 stores (though none in Westchester), Boadu’s shoes can be purchased at gwynethshoes.com or in Manhattan at such stores as Daffy’s and Shoe Craft.