Shoe Designer Bettye Muller
Q & A with designer Bettye Muller.
Photograph by Becca Sabot
Preppy, chic, and wearable, Bettye Muller was one of the first shoe collections Marlys Badzin ordered when she opened Pumpz & Co. at the Galleria. At the time, Muller’s New York apartment doubled as her showroom, and the designer was her own shoe model. “She was wearing these amazing leather sandals that I would still carry today,” Badzin recalls. Twelve years later, Muller has a showroom and staff, and her line is a top seller at Pumpz. From 11 am to 2 pm on Oct. 12, Muller makes her first appearance at the boutique that helped put her on the map. Stop by—she’s as darling as her tartan flats.
First love: Pappagallo. They were a really soft, beautiful kidskin leather. I just remember wanting lots of them.
Huge heels: I don’t like them at all. Victoria Beckham wears the ones with the big front—it looks like a clubfoot.
Comfort: It’s very, very important. Suffering for the look is a young person’s game. Making beautiful shoes that are wearable is part of who I am. I was an ice skater!
Right height: Three inches is nice. I’m starting to do lower heels, too. Pumps are starting to come back.
Designer prices: Even if you made a shoe in gold in the most beautiful factory in Italy, there’s no justification for charging $1,500. I’ll see some of these $800 or $900 shoes and they have a crooked heel—it’s like, shame on you!
Menswear influences: I love men’s tailoring. This year, it’s right in the mix with the smoking shoe and the tuxedo shoe. A lot of women don’t feel feminine, but it’s a very sophisticated look. There’s a cool factor to it. I love it with nice slacks and a blazer.
For travel: I wear Silvia Fiorentina moccasins or Converse sneakers. Always closed-toe. I don’t like when people travel in open-toe shoes. Unless it’s one of mine. I guess I’d make an exception for that.