Exclusive: Julia Engel Talks Essential Shoe Styles and Her First Footwear Collaboration
"We wanted to equip our customers with Fall closet staples for effortless, everyday dressing," Julia Engel told us of her forthcoming Gal Meets Glam Collection shoe collaboration with direct-to-consumer brand Margaux. Indeed, this lineup consists of four key shoe silhouettes designed to live in — and because Margaux's shoes are crafted with an emphasis on comfort and fit, you won't want to take them off.
At the core of this collection is also the preppy-meets-girlie aesthetic that Julia's blog — and now, her brand — has become known for. She's reimagined four of Margaux's essential silhouettes, including an everyday boot, two ballet flat styles, and a chic loafer, all finished with Julia's eye for detail — bows, tweedy trim, and a splash of pink. The selection ranges from $145 for the demi ballet flats to $345 for the suede boots, and if that sounds like a little more than you were hoping to spend, consider this: each of the styles is available in three widths and extended sizes, ranging from a European 34 to 44, and handcrafted with luxury materials at a family-owned factory in Spain. Add to that that after a day in these shoes, I can vouch that the quality and fit is worth the hype (and not just because of all the compliments I got on them).
Ahead of the launch, we chatted with Julia about all things shoes. From her favorite styles in the new collection to the modern way to style a classic ballet flat, she breaks it all down in our interview ahead — including where she stands on the heels vs. flats debate.
POPSUGAR: What's your favorite way to wear the ballet flat for Fall?
Julia Engel: I absolutely believe everyone should have a pair (okay . . . several!) of ballet flats. Smart and simple styles like The Demi in Burgundy Suede or The Pointe in GMGC Pink Tweed add a pop of color and complete any look with a feminine touch. I love wearing pairs like these with Fall seasonal fabric touches to complement a cozy outfit for the office, social events, or on the weekend. My favorite thing about ballet flats is their versatility! As a practical workwear option, I'd love to pair either flat with our [Gal Meets Glam] Ines Dress ($158) or Sybil Jumpsuit ($178) to add a bit of texture. For an effortless weekend look, I'd slip on either with our Marguerite Top ($138) and my favorite pair of denim, and for a dressier alternative, the suede flats pair nicely with our Brianna Dress ($168).
Shop the look: Gal Meets Glam Annika Jacket ($198)
PS: For anyone who thinks the ballet flat isn't exactly a sexy or modern option, how would you tell them to style it?
JE: Heels are great, but I feel most beautiful when I'm comfortable! A ballet flat is a simple way to add a playful accent to an otherwise streamlined look. The trick is to find flats with special details and textures. Fall is also the perfect time to pair your cute dresses with flats because it's not too cold to show some leg. I recently paired The Pointe in GMGC Pink Tweed with our Hayley dress ($178) for a dinner date with Thomas. You can give your toes a break and still have a fun and flirty date night look!"
PS: What are the three shoes every woman should have in her closet for Fall?
JE: When we first started working on this collaboration, that was the exact question we asked! After looking at my closet and past Gal Meets Glam Daily Looks, it was clear that the shoes I wore most often were heeled boots, basic flats, and easy everyday loafers. Of course, one can never have too many shoes, so I have variations of each style, but these are the three I rotate between the most. All of the styles create a seamless, sophisticated look and are the most versatile, so you can easily transition from the office to cocktail hour.