What Is Ravel Footwear?
A better question might be what was Ravel Footwear?
Ravel Footwear was a shoe company based in the United Kingdom. They had a good reputation among shoe fanatics for making quality attractive shoes that were reasonably priced. Then in the spring of 2007, they absorbed by Clarks, a larger United Kingdom-based shoe company. The brand is no longer available, though Clarks promised to keep making some of the styles under their label.
Before they stopped making shoes, their shoes were available in a variety of styles, from pumps and sandals to flats and even boots. The popularity of Ravel Footwear was not confined to the UK — though they were sometimes difficult to find, shopping on the Internet was the main source for buyers outside of the UK.
What Is Clarks?
The company that absorbed Ravel Footwear is famous for making mules and flats, shoes known more for their comfort and durability — while Ravel made sexy shoes, Clarks has always been about comfort. The typical fan of Ravel Footwear is looking for strappy shoes, sexy sandals, pumps, and items like stiletto-heel boots that are far outside the creative boundary of Clarks.
Clarks technically took control of the company in 1974, but didn’t make any major changes to the women’s shoe line until discontinuing the line for good in 2007. You can no longer find Ravel Footwear on High Street or in any retail location, partly because Clarks shut down the retail stores that were competing with Clarks own stores. Just before the stores shut for good, they offered huge discounts on their stock, so many people bought up as many pairs as they could. That’s why you can still find Ravel shoes, some brand new in the box — people took advantage of the discounts just before closing and stockpiled shoes to wear (or to sell) later.
What Makes Ravel Shoes Special?
People love these shoes because they’re fashionable but not unreasonably priced. Ravel Footwear is famously sexy — these aren’t necessarily the best shoes for a job interview. (See How to Dress for a Job Interview for more information.) It is difficult to find well-made shoes that are both fashion-forward and affordable.
What was once a trendy London brand, aimed at the fashionista market, became a worldwide phenomenon. If you’ve seen photos of fashion in the 60s, you’re probably familiar with Ravel Footwear. Their famous high leg white patent boots became a hallmark of the 1960s. They were able to take that trendy image and update it to whatever was new in fashion.
Finding Ravel on eBay
You can find lots of Ravel Footwear using eBay. (See How to Buy Stuff on eBay for more information.) I found the following items for sale right now on eBay:
- A pair of size 5 pumps, brand new without tags, currently selling for $12
- A pair of blue pumps, brand new in box, currently selling for $8
- A pair of size 5 wedge platforms currently selling for $20
And this is just a sampling of the dozens of styles available right now on eBay.
When you’re buying Ravel Footwear online, especially from an auction site, you should pay attention to the description of the item. Since they’re no longer made, you’ll probably be buying something secondhand. It may even be used or have some light wear and tear. Read the description carefully so you don’t feel ripped off when you open your new shoes and find them a little scuffed.