© Ellen Nolan / National Portrait Gallery, London
Emma grew up in Singapore and England.
Inspired by her teacher, Bob White, to do Art at A level, and encouraged by her writer mother Daphne Boutwood, who had been a fashion journalist, Emma went on to study shoe design and manufacture, and is a graduate of the Cordwainers College in London.
Emma Hope has a shop in Notting Hill in London, at 207 Westbourne Grove, W11 2SE, and an e-commerce shop www.emmahope.com
Emma has designed shoes for Paul Smith, Anna Sui and Mulberry
Emma Hope shoes and bags are sold in stores world wide
All the shoes and bags are made in small, family owned factories in Tuscany, where they are specialists in the finest hand crafted shoe making techniques
Buying beautiful vintage embroidery at jumble sales and flea markets, Emma loves re-working and reviving the old techniques of how they were originally made onto new shoes and bags.
Emma recently launched a new collection of sneakers for men and women. The sneakers have an old school feel and are made in leopard print, silk velvets and suede. The Hope for Men and Emma Hope sneakers can be found in leading stores world wide
Emma designed the shoes for Kiera Knightly and Rosamund Pike for the award winning film Pride and Prejudice
CNN recently made a lifestyle and work documentary on Emma following her to South Africa learning to play polo, surfing and making beaded bags with Monkey Biz meeting their beaders in their workshop in the township of Khayelitsha which supports an AIDS wellness clinic in the centre of Cape Town
Gifford’s Circus commissioned Emma to design some Moulin Rouge Boots for their trapeze artists and chorus girls.
Emma has been commissioned by Vogue, Elle, The Times, The Daily Telegraph and Country Life to write and photograph articles about inspiration, music festivals, surfing, voodoo, fortune telling and cowboys
Emma has won five Design Council Awards, the Martini Style Award, the Harpers & Queen Design Award and the Clothes Show TV and D.T.I. Accessories Award
In 2004 Emma spoke at the Oxford Union against the motion ‘High Fashion - do we pay too high a price?’ defending quality and design against high street mass manufacturing
In 2011 Emma was made an Honorary Fellow of The University of the Arts, London
In 2011 Ellen Nolan’s portrait of Emma (above) was purchased by the National Portrait Gallery for their collection of photographs of People & Portraits - Emma Hope: Footwear Designer
In 2012 Emma was named in the New Years Honours List and awarded an MBE
Emma designed a collection of shoes for the exhibition “Thread: Stories of Fashion at Strawbery Banke 1740 -2012”
In July 2012, Emma gave a talk at the Victoria and Albert Museum discussing shoe making and inspiration against a changing backdrop of images of the collections she has designed from the last 25 years
Emma’s following of customers love the handmade feel of her shoes – from the inbuilt comfort and dress down luxury of the sneakers and slippers, and the easy elegance of the day courts and slings, to the dressing up box glamour of the embroidered heels and 30’s platforms. Emma’s shoes appeal to the individuality of everyone, making their style their own.