If the Shoe Fits: An Interview with Libby Edelman of Sam & Libby

Sam and Libby Edelman are the king and queen of shoes (a title we should all be so lucky to have!). So it’s only appropriate that the pair met and fell in love at a shoe fair in 1979.

It must have been a perfect match because the duo went into business together, starting their eponymous brand, Sam & Libby, in 1987. They found their calling after a trip overseas inspired them to re-create the fashionable European ballet flat for the American girl.

The original bow ballet flat

Today, the Sam & Libby bow ballet flat is an icon, revolutionizing the way we think about shoes. After nearly 30 years on the market, the brand re-launched the classic design with Target earlier this month—we’re snapping them up in every color!

Below, we chatted with Libby about the flirty flat.

What makes the ballet flat so iconic?
Really, it was Bridget Bardot who made the ballet flat so famous. She always wore them in St. Tropez and loved the ballet more than anyone! Women across America fell in love and it soon became the “must-have” shoe—everyone owned a pair! We created our first ballet flat almost three decades ago, adding a bow to the toe.

Why re-launch the ballet flat now?
It’s a great shoe for spring because it works with skirts, dresses, shorts and jeans. And they’re not just great for warmer months; ballet flats have become a go-to all year round. They’re easy to pack and they travel well.


What does the ballet flat mean to the modern woman?
The ballet flat is a staple in any woman’s wardrobe—she wears them every day. Women want to feel a bit sexy and the Sam & Libby bow ballet flat is going to be what she’s looking for this season. Half the fun is deciding what color to choose!

What is your favorite feature about the shoe?
The bow ballet flat has stood the test of time—it was as perfect then as it is now. We are proud not only of the overall design, but also the emotional response that women have to the shoe.

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