Sad news for shoe-loving superfans of local label The Palatines. Founder and designer Jessica Taft Langdon is shuttering her minimalist-cool, Los Angeles-produced footwear line, a tough decision she recently revealed in a heartfelt goodbye note on the brand's website last month.
Langdon — who previously designed for Alexander Wang, Coach, Proenza Schouler, Everlane, and others before starting her label — writes on her site that she "wasn't willing to compromise the goals that I started with, in order to become more competitive. I don't want to lower the quality of the shoes, in order to meet a lower price. The Palatines has come [too] far to back track on the commitments we made to ourselves and our customers."
We reached out to Langdon, who tells us that she's finally enjoying some much-needed downtime as she winds things down: "I just got back from my first two weeks of vacation since I started the brand," she explains. "I'll be wrapping things up with The Palatines, and starting to chat about other projects, collaborations, and work with others."
Langdon founded The Palatines in 2013 and became known for her sleek slip-on Caelum sandals; her simple-yet-sculptural silhouettes garnered fans like Rashida Jones, Solange, and Feist, reported the L.A. Times in a feature on the brand last December.
To help clear out house, the footwear designer is unleashing discounts of 50 to 80% off her entire inventory of chic leather slides, heels, loafers, boots, and more — meaning it's your last chance to snap up The Palatines' signature Caelum sandals, Inergia boots, and other cool steppers as well as its collaboration with artist Amanda Antunes.
Read an excerpt from Langdon's au revoir message to her dedicated customers below, then show your support for the soon-to-close brand and shop all of the goods online here.
you recognized the palatines as a brand that did things differently – manufactured our shoes from the best materials in family owned factories in los angeles, and created shoes that weren't versions of those that other brands were doing. it wasn't meant to be a revolution, i didn't want to "disrupt". i wanted to do my own thing, wondered if it was possible to thrive in the margins?
and the honest answer is…. i'm not sure. it's certainly possible to exist. we proved that was true, and you helped us by putting us on the map, and being taken seriously by people who did not believe that high quality, thoughtfully designed shoes could be made in this country, and find a following and a customer. we did that. it was very hard, but every step was worth it, and i'm extremely proud.
but we are a small business, a more or less one-woman (with a lot of support) show. the industry & the retail sectors are changing dramatically. it's for the better, in the long run, i think, but it's a tough road, for now. as a result, it's been increasingly difficult to keep up with competitors who run their brands in a different way.