Ex-Gap exec designs shoes that fit the lifestyle of the modern woman



Bells & Becks shoes are designed for women to wear from day to night.

And the concept reflects the lifestyle of the brand’s founder Tamar Miller, a former 25-year Head of Merchandising for Gap Inc.

“I’ve worked in corporate retail for most of my career and, over time, my life became increasingly complex,” said Miller in an email interview.

“I was a mom and an executive running from meeting to meeting, traveling and going to conferences, but I was also dropping my kids off at school and regularly attending social functions,” said Miller.

“I was doing it all and my footwear needs were evolving,” said Miller.

Her highest heels weren’t the most comfortable for her duties as executive and mom. “I loved designer shoes, but they were simply impractical for my daily life.”

However, Miller wasn’t ready to surrender on the concept of style.

But the marketplace, apparently, had.

“I began finding it difficult to find shoes that were unique, feminine, chic and of exceptional quality that didn’t break the bank,” said Miller.

Miller’s observations made her realize there was a void in the marketplace for shoes that were “distinctive, chic, yet wearable for the modern woman with a busy lifestyle.”

Hence, Bells & Becks (www.bellsandbecks.com) was born.

“We focus on versatility, not only taking a woman from day to night, but fitting into all facets of her life,” said Miller.

The Bells & Becks woman is “powerful, capable and beyond busy in her role as power-player and mother. She wants to look both chic and feminine, but also requires comfort and versatility in her wardrobe.”

In turning her concept into reality, Miller said she approached shoes as “functional art.”

“Everything that I create is ‘wearable,’ which translates to flats and mid-heels – shoes that are made for real life,” said Miller.

However, said Miller, “They must fit well, but they should also stand alone as a beautiful object.”

To turn this concept of comfort and style into reality, Miller had the credentials to make it happen. She had worked with footwear at Lord and Taylor, Macy’s, and Piperlime. She learned the technical end of the shoe business. But the job also allowed her to share her passion with other “shoe dogs.”

As for what makes Bells & Becks shoes special, Miller said she has them made in “top-tier” Italian factories. “The feel of luxury is present because we use only the highest-quality components: buttery-soft leather uppers, leather outsoles, insoles and linings, plus the finest hardware and finishes.”

They are comfortable shoes, but Miller said she keeps them stylish with “clean lines that enhance, and shapes that feminize, by creating a sleekness on the foot.

“Bells & Becks shoes buck the pared-down, gender-neutral aesthetic trend in favor of a feminine look with a contemporary, ‘less is more’ point of view,” said Miller.

Bells & Becks will work with any wardrobe direction a woman takes, said Miller. If you like denim, they work. If you like something that is polished and dressy, they work.

“Any woman that has a passion for footwear — and who doesn’t, really? — and designs with a strong sense of style and femininity will love our shoes,” said Miller.

Bells & Becks is available at The Perfect Pair in Fairfield, Conn. The Perfect Pair and Bells & Becks.