Yes, I love shoes, I adore shoes and must confess I am a shoe freak!

I remember so well the first pair of shoes I actually bought in a shoe store, had eyed them for weeks on my way to school… moccasins, they looked so soft and comfy. In the war I was a little baby and not wearing any shoes at all I guess and later in the Orphanage we got to choose, group by group, from a mountain of used shoes in the middle of the “fitting room” ( more like a sewing room) and you were allowed 2 pairs, for the winter or summer season, and so you were lucky if you found something you could live with and was your size! So shoes was an issue for me, …clothes I already was working on, having discovered a sewing machine with pedals, a Singer, that nobody was really using and it worked great. Soon learned how to sew and cut so that was fine but the shoes….… My next pair had little heels and was of very nice light grey leather, my friend Sophie van Kleef and I went together and bought the same shoes. She was my friend in school and we were both Fashion freaks, her mother had a bookstore where she sold all the foreign Magazines so we would have a great time looking at the fashion pictures in Vogues and Elle. She became a famous model and actress in Holland and always stayed in Holland. But then.… When my older sister Lisa came back from a trip to Italy and she had bought there a pair of high heels of which the heel was so thin one would think it would break and a very pointy toe, that was new, never seen, I was fascinated, wow!

Later when I earned some money with modelling I had my dream pair made up by a shoemaker in Italy. I wore them to pieces, literally! They were gold leather with a purple platform, like a short boot with cut out heel and toes, tight with a string so they were snug… A pair of golden boots followed…- Love gold leather always, always-

When I started modelling in London I found this ordinary shoe store but saw somewhere in the window in the back on top a glimpse of Gold that called me so I followed my instinct and went in and can you imagine she had 7 beautiful, outrageously beautiful, pairs of original Ferragamo models that had been there for about 20 years and they thought nothing of it and no one was interested, FERRAGAMO! He was the greatest in his time, it still exist but is of course not him. They were happy to get rid of them and I got them for next to nothing and they fitted! I have a 7 which was in general the shoe model size, now it is probably a 9. I wore them and wore them, silk satin and silver leather, red suede with gold leather of the best quality……….

If you let me I will slowly tell you all about my shoe experience, designed and produced them for 10 years… but lets have a glimpse of that in a few pictures that I made  of the exhibition of my shoe work in Madrid in 1991. It gives a bit the image of what I was doing.

My exhibition in Madrid

The Number ONE! this particular shoe I sold over and over again

This was 1990

The short booties, softest leathers……

La Espagnoladesigned by Salvador, very Spanish….

Bags and shoes and belts in my shop in Madrid, 1988

Here we are showing the influences, America:


we also had China and Arabia.

Salvador made the backgrounds, he was always the greatest help and any of anything would not have been possible without him and without Alejandro who did a lot too.

This is the window of my store in Puerta de Toledo, madrid.

I think that shoes are important to a look, you can wear nice clothes and shabby shoes and the whole impression is shabby, but a shabby outfit with wonderful shoes makes the whole thing look better, what do you think?


  1. I am so glad to finally see your designs. How incredibly beautiful they are,
    frankly I am speechless. They are timeless too I think.
    So interesting to hear how you grew up. All the best to you Willy, love everything
    I have seen of you and your lovely family.

  2. WOW! no really you have done it again! all I can think of is why oh why didn’t I put all of the 8.5 sizes away until now! I mean I had to see them again and remember them again and I am so floored at how gorgeous they really are! I was so young then I had no real clue and took it for granted but now as a woman and to see all of those designs that would be just so in right now and always really! well I saw personally a few that I am drooling over already…you must make them again now! Where are the investors!?? haha…LOVE THIS <3

  3. Thank you Willy for all this job. It’s so interesting getting to know you and your history…
    I share with you that passion for shoes, and that’s how we met in fact, remember?. I was visiting the Mercado Puerta de Toledo when it first opened, and I sow from afar that beautiful window with amazing unique shoes pulling me with the strenth of a powerfull magnet. Then I met you and I thought that you were the most beautiful and sweet woman I ever sow. And I show you my jewelry too.
    I can’t tell you how sorry I feel for not having all the wonderfull shoes I got from you. I had to renounce and let behind so many things in my way…
    But here and now, we are still “alive and kicking”, and I’m very glad and gratefull to share all this with you.
    Looking to your shoes, as for any of your creations; helps me uplift my spirit and is a gift. Thank you Willy, thank you so much. I love you…

  4. I still have the most beautiful shoes and boots going back at least 20 years and people never stop complementing me. You were always ahead of your time, creating beauty for people to wear.

  5. I always loved your shoes, I am lucky enough to still have two pairs of small boots, the red and gold ones and the ones with the gems which you say you sold over and over. I love them both. Once I was wearing the red and gold ones to the dentist and he wanted to buy them off my feet then and there for his wife!! I refused.
    I wish you were still making them!

  6. Oh, the shoe exhibition!!! I didn’t remember you had this pictures, what memories! And your shoes were so wonderful, you could wear any of them right now, they’re just beautiful and timeless, which proves ture style, something rare in fashion nowadays.

    Hmm, I wonder if being a shoe freak is genetic, haha
    The Pilgrim recently posted..The African Connection

  7. i am pleasently surprised to see al this beauty & happynes..

    nice story how u2 did meet eachother and still are together

    the paintings are super !!

    as a shoefreack aswell i like the shoes ofcourse 🙂

    i am a big fan of Jan Jansen btw
    i’ll tell others about this nice site



    • I am pleasantly surprised too, thank you Cligli, yes of course I know Jan, great designs and I have a lot to tell about shoes so please follow. It is very nice of you to show it to others, love and peace

  8. Where was I, these are so amazing! I would not post a ‘love song’ if I truly did not mean it…I have many old Mauds, Pasquali, and countless others, but somehow, I missed Willy….AND, perhaps the most original!

  9. Dear Willy, Today is a good day, I found your blog and was thrilled to hear about APPLE. and see your exquisite shoes. for a minute I felt I was in Shoe Heaven. they really have one you know FOR SHOE FREAKS ONLY! I don’t think you will find my message, but i will on another day try to remember and repost . Warm Regards Terrance Trachet

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