When Sophie Rhys Jones married prince Edward in London yesterday evening there was one man who was keeping a very close eye on her feet – Greek Cypriot shoemaker Arty Achilleos.
London based Arty played fairy godfather to the bride by saving the day in a last minute dash to match Sophie’s shoes to her £5,000 wedding dress.
Arty (Artemis) Achilleos, who was born in Larnaca, was given the emergency task of covering the £250 shoes by Royal dress designer Samantha Shaw after she discovered her ivory/Pale creation had been match with a pair in an offending Peach Colour
With no success in locating a matching pair and with only two days to the wedding, She desperately turned to Achilleos, the owner of Baboucha shoes.
“We were given the shoes on Thursday afternoon and they went back on Friday afternoon” Achilleos told the Sunday mail yesterday from his shop in Barnet, North London.
“We had to help so we stepped in exactly like a fairy god mother so Cinderella did go to the ball with our help”
Rhys Jones did not make a personal visit to the shop and nor did arty receive an invitation to the wedding, but he said he planned to watch it on television so he could keep a close eye on his handiwork.
Hopefully the heels won’t fall off he joked.
Achilleos, a third generation shoemaker, said the entire job took around 5 – 6 hours to complete.
He said the shoes were made by a different company and with the wrong fabric and had to be literally taken apart to be covered in material matching the royal wedding gown.
The size-five plain court shoes were described as having a sweet heart toe with scalloped edges.
Arty said he chose a Matt, stretch jersey which he described as a light coffee cream or antique ivory, the same colour as the dress but a different fabric.
“we also made her a matching handbag” he said ” and of course it was all complimentary.”
Achilleos is no stranger to royal or celebrity shoemaking, his shop, which opened in 1983, provided the bridesmaid shoes for prince Andrews wedding to Sarah Ferguson. He also later employed Greek shoemaker Spiros Minas who had worked on the bridesmaid shoes for prince Charles and princess Diana’s wedding in 1981.
Achilleos also counts among his client’s actresses Uma Thurman and Nicole Kidman, wife of Tom Cruise, ” We make shoes for all sorts of celebrities he said.