Born and raised in England, Penelope Chilvers originally trained as a painter at the Byam Shaw School of Art in London, she was given a scholarship by the Spanish Ministry of Culture, to complete an MA at Complutense University in Madrid.
Her love affair with Spain and local craftsmanship began long before. As a child she spent every school holiday in the province of Girona where she first came across rustic, handmade alpargatas. She has been trying to make the perfect raw edged, bullhide moccasin ever since.
Penelope lived for a few years in Barcelona as a painter and designer, where she collaborated with artists and artisans. She worked with wood turners, designed for the textile industry and worked on interesting projects e.g. the restoration of the Picasso Museum. While living in Barcelona, she enjoyed riding in her lunch break in the national park of Collserola in the hills above the city wearing traditional Spanish riding boots. This was her inspiration and she commissioned a small number of traditional makers to produce her first boot, the Long Tassel Boot, most famously worn by Kate Middleton in 2004. The now, Duchess of Cambridge continues to wear Penelope Chilvers’ boots.
Having returned to the UK, Penelope began to work from her kitchen table, selling over 100 pairs of the Long Tassel Boot in a short space of time to a leading fashion boutique in Notting Hill, called The Cross. From that moment on, she got to work, designing her first comprehensive collection to launch at Paris Fashion Week in 2004.
Penelope Chilvers has a reputation for superb quality, comfort and effortless style.