Hello and happy weekend to everyone. We have several updates to share, and they all involve boots.
We begin with the case of the UFO (Unidentified Fashion Object) Boots, something that has stymied many of us for years. The object of our confusion? The boots worn by Kate in this 2007 photo; the future Duchess is seen leaving Raffles nightclub with younger sister Pippa.
Matt Keeble/PA Wire
Identification of the boots has proven perplexing, many a search was undertaken to determine who made them and several times it was thought we had discovered the answer. At one point it seemed they might be by Hobbs, another time it looked like they could be Banana Republic, Sara Wellman did a significant amount of groundwork, contacting companies.
Fortunately, a friend from the WKW Facebook Community has finally solved the puzzle. Behold, Kate’s boots.
eBay/Courtesy Rachel Beasley Nesbit
They are by a storied Swiss brand, Bally. Credit for resolution of the boot debate goes to Rachel Beasley Nesbit, also known as Rachel N. Wales on the WKW page. Here is another look at Kate in the boots, this time at Coworth Park for a May 2009 polo match.
While the photo enlargements are a little blurred, you can see that Rachel’s boots are the same as what Kate wore.
Courtesy Rachel Beasley Nesbit/Splash News
An interesting note, the boots were described as “BALLY Burgundy Dark Red Coated Leather Double Buckle” boots, I would not have pegged the color as burgundy. A look from another angle.
No doubt some readers will recognize the Bally name, the company has been around since 1851. Bally makes shoes and accessories for both men and women. Below, an image from the brand’s fall advertising campaign, Bally continues to offer women’s boots.
The new campaigns may be beautifully staged and photographed, but some of us fondly recall the older Bally advertisements, like these.
Via Vintage Venus, Australia
The company did well for more than a century. In 1977 family members sold their share of the company and shortly afterward Bally encountered problems. Since then it has changed hands more than once, it is now owned by Labelux Group, the same firm that owns Belstaff and Jimmy Choo.
Back to Kate’s boots, here you see Kate wearing them at those same polo matches.
Splash News and Pictures
Bally has a store in Mayfair, right on Bond St., it’s possible this is where Kate purchased the boots. I doubt we’ll ever know precisely where they were bought; Bally has stores around the world, many of them in locales Kate has visited over the years. The company does mark its hardware, we show the ‘Bally’ name on a contemporary shoe alongside a clasp on the boots Rachel purchased.
Bally/Courtesy Rachel Beasley Nesbit
Bally designs for men can be found at upscale venues like Saks, but not the women’s products; an online search shows products at Bally’s website, but also at discounters like DSW, and Sierra Trading Post. Below, an image from the Bally website.
Those familiar with Kate’s jewelry will recognize the Patrick Mavros ‘Ndoro’ earrings she is wearing in the 2009 polo photos.
Splash News/Patrick Mavros
The Ndoro design is a classic motif; Mr. Mavros describes its Zimbabwean history and his use of the design here. The earrings are still available at the jeweler’s website, they are approximately $235, or £150.
Kate’s top is a French Connection bird-print piece, we thank Anna and My Small Obsessions for this information.
Splash News/My Small Obsessions Facebook
Kate is also seen carrying her trusty Prada bag; I have not had time to look for the maker of her black jacket (sweater?), nor her jeans.
For those curious about Kate’s attire in the 2007 photo with Pippa, the blazer is by British label Fenn, Wright & Manson.
eBay CopyKate Auction via My Small Obsessions
The silk velvet jacket is single-breasted with curved lapels and flap pockets, our thanks again to My Small Obsessions for this info, Anna also says Kate is wearing a’ Silk Grecian Style Tunic Top’ in the photo, by one of her go-to labels, Reiss.
Our other update, involves another pair of boots, only these were identified some time ago.
Russell & Bromley
Russell and Bromley have re-issued Kate’s Charge-It boots, now called the Charge-It2. Here is how the boot is described:
The classic zipped riding boot in luxurious black suede is elegant and sophisticated for easy chic all day long. Multiple elastic inserts add to the detail, elongate the leg and allow for flexible width fittings. Wear over skinny trousers or with dresses for chic Winter style.
Here we show Kate wearing the boots when shopping in February, 2012 and a closeup from when she was released from the hospital in December of 2012.
Kind Permission of IKON Pictures/Splash News
The boots sell at Russell and Bromley for £275, approximately $430 at today’s exchange rates. LK Bennett has also re-issued the Darwin Shearling Jacket the Duchess is wearing above left, it now retails for £795, roughly $1250.
Our final note today is also about boots, in this case Kate’s favorite Rhumba boots by Aquatalia, the prize in our giveaway showcasing our fundraiser for EACH, one of Kate’s patronages. The lucky winner is….
Cathleen Plaza wins a pair of the Rhumba in this year’s new color, Anthracite. Our thanks to Aquatalia for their generosity in sponsoring the giveaway.