Ravel Shoes are now a high quality wholesale shoe brand as the shops were sold off by Clarks some time ago. The shoes are designed and developed in the UK and made in good quality factories in India and the Far East. What Ravel have become good at is making well priced styles with a solid interpretation of what’s hot in fashion right now. If its a great riding boot then they have it, a smart pair of Chelsea Boots then they will have it or the latest pump or court shoe Ravel is on the job. Please make a selection from our collection below.
Ravel Shoes, Boots & Sandals
So what happened to Ravel Shoes shops and why do you not see them on the high street any more?
Ravel was a really great chain of high street shoe shops that was founded in 1934 as a small independent shoe retailer under a variety of different trading names and owned by a Mrs Wise and her family. It grew slowly over the years adding more and more stores and during the 60s became known by fashion conscious Londoners and a hip and trendy place to buy shoes.
In 1967 the Wise family bought a shop on Oxford St in London called 'Chausseurs Ravel' which they later changed to Ravel the Chausseurs prefix was used right through the life of the shop chain giving it a continental feel to it.
In 1967 the Clarks family bought a minority share in the firm running it independently from the main business and the company flourished. The head office was in Aldershot and later moved to Conduit Street in London to be at the heart of the fashion world. When the Wises retired in 1974 Clarks bought the remaining shares and the company continued to grow through the the 70s.
Always known for their high fashion designer feel, Ravel Shoes sat above their British Shoe Corporation rivals in Leicester, with their Dolcis, Saxone and Lilly and Skinner brands. The brand 'out there', wild and outlandish; when platforms were in in the early 70s Ravel had the biggest and the best. Originality was the key and other shoe shops could only watch, and copy the best sellers. The company began to lose their way during the 1990s and in 1999 Clarks made the mistake of moving the head office to Street in Somerset to be among the Clarks main head office complex.
During the 2000s the business began to fail with the company employing a stream of inexperienced and junior buyers and merchandisers in a revolving door scenario, until buying was effectively controlled by the Clarks board. The lack of inspiration in the ranges, remoteness from the coolness of central London and the drab surroundings all contributed to its failure, and the roaring success of the 60s to 80s was quickly forgotten by an unforgiving, young and trendy public who had moved on to cooler places to shop.
In 2007 Clarks closed Ravel Shops, the premises were sold off and the brand auctioned off to the highest bidder. It is now owned by the Jacobson Group of companies based in Rawtenstall in Lancashire, who have gone some considerable way to reviving the old look and feel of the brand. It is sold as a wholesale brand and features in independents and online. So Ravel Shoe Shops are no more - and an interesting story to boot!, a lesson in retail as well!