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The Rurbanist: Q&A with Charlotte Olympia Dellal

An exclusive interview with Charlotte Olympia Dellal for our October Rurbanist

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Shoe designer Charlotte Olympia Dellal starts each day by checking in on ‘her girls’

Where’s home to you?

I recently moved to the countryside just over an hour out of London and believe it or not, I live on ‘Shoe Lane’.

Where do you go to lose yourself?

My mother is Brazilian, so I love going to Rio, which is my home away from home. I always switch off, recharge and feel 100 per cent myself when I am there.

Daily ritual?

Checking on ‘my girls’ (chickens!) Liz Taylor, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Mae West, Josephine Baker, Dita and Immodesty.

Secret place in London for a good night out?  

I love going to The Marks Club for dinner in good company and then ending up on the terrace drinking Negronis until we’re the last ones standing.

Best thing a cabbie has ever said to you?

That he was a cabbie by day and a magician by night (he proved it to me by showing me a magic trick).

What never fails to bring a smile to your face?

Sometimes it is so chaotic at home with my four boys that, when I’m on the verge of going crazy, I step back and laugh at how fantastic it all is.

What item in your wardrobe do you wear the most?

At the moment my headscarves are my saving grace; I have less time to set my hair in ‘40s waves,  so a turban is more my aesthetic than just tying it up.

Last book you read?

The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux, a very clever and thrilling page turner.

Most valuable piece of advice you have received?

Happy mother equals happy children. But, on a fashion note, always better to be overdressed than underdressed. I live by that daily.

What brings out the worst in you?

Mess! It stresses me out to see things out of place but, ironically, I also very much enjoy tidying things up.

Last song you listened to that made you dance?

I’m starting to introduce my boys to music I used to love, Nirvana being my favourite. I didn’t dance, but I sang every word out loud like I was 14 again.

What would really improve your life?  

I need to learn how to delegate properly, it’s a work in progress.

Signature dish and who are you cooking it for?

My mother-in-law is Iranian and I learned how to cook a khoresh karafts (celery lamb stew). I enjoy cooking it for her because she is one of the best cooks I know, so is great to get her approval (which isn’t that easy!)

Last place you ‘discovered’?

My shoes are made just outside Florence but, unfortunately, I never have the time to enjoy the city itself. That said, recently I booked my return flight a day later unexpectedly; a wonderful mistake.


Q&A with Gabriella Wilde / Q&A with Nigel Slater