Sarah Griffith with her fancy shoe collection Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/XPRESS

Abu Dhabi: She wears art on her heels. Not to some fancy parties or social events but exclusively to the school where she teaches.

More than 50 pairs of intricately designed footwear lie in a specially designated cupboard in Sarah Griffith’s house in Abu Dhabi. With embellished heels, ornate wood carvings and exquisite colour combinations, each pair is a work of art.

Fancy shoes. Sarah Griffith with her collection of Irregular Choice shoes which she wears to school in order to make her students happy. Photo: Ahmed Kutty/XPRESS

“I purchased my first pair from Irregular Choice (accessory store in the UK) seven years ago just before I moved to Abu Dhabi. I wore them to my Year 4 class at Al Yasmina and they were an instant hit with the children. So much so that I was able to break the ice with them,” says the British expat, who is Assistant Principal of Al Yasmina School in Abu Dhabi.

Unicorns to pineapples

Griffith says she then bought more such shoes and wore them to school. Soon she became known as the ‘teacher with fancy shoes’. Her shoes have become so popular that children look forward to seeing which ones she is wearing each day. She also gets special requests which she tries to accommodate. “The kids like animal themed ones the most – like the unicorn and panda. The flamingo shoes were a big hit, especially when all our classrooms were named after birds.

“Some are very decorative like the pineapple heels. Others, like the Bambi heels, are a bit heavy to walk around. But it’s worth the effort as they make heads turn,” she says. “The new collections sell out quickly. My ‘Alice in Wonderland’ shoes and Bunny shoes were very hard to get hold of,” she says, adding each pair costs between £150 and £200.

“My husband doesn’t mind the forever growing collection, although when we go out he prefers me to wear regular heels (Griffith has around 30 pairs of regular formals and party shoes). My girls would never be seen in them, which is good as they won’t borrow them. My ultimate wish is that Irregular Choice starts an outlet here so that I don’t have to endure the excruciating time they take for shipping,” she says.