This Mega Stylist Teamed Up with a Cult ’90s Shoe Brand


Influential stylist Elizabeth Saltzman is best known for dressing A-listers like Gwyneth Paltrow and Gemma Arterton. Professionally, Saltzman promotes glam footwear labels like Christian Louboutin, Paul Andrew, and Manolo Blahnik on her red carpet clients. But personally, Saltzman has long been a devout fan of Rocket Dog’s cushy foam Big Top sandals. She started wearing the platform flip flops—and slipping them to celebrities for relief after standing in stilettos— when they first came out in the nineties. Now, Saltzman is helping revive the throwback look with her new ES x RD range of rainbow-soled styles that are fun, cheap, and the perfect thing to wear for Pride. Below, we spoke with Saltzman about the random story behind her timely, tacky-chic shoe collaboration.

When did you first discover Rocket Dog sandals?

“I’ve been working the Oscars for decades now. On the big day, everyone has to be carpet-ready at 3PM, and stay on their feet until 2:00 in the morning. About 20 years ago, I noticed all these pretty young things and movie stars taking off their shoes and walking around the party barefoot with these beautiful dresses. And I was like, ‘What are you doing?!’ So I finally went out and bought loads of these tall wedgie flip flops they could slip on after taking pictures, and nobody would see them underneath their long dresses. This is not rocket science. When people’s feet hurt, it’s not pleasant. Swapping in the comfortable flip flops made the girls so happy. They’d be smiling, they’d be up all night, and we’d go out to these really great after parties where there are no cameras, no anything. That was many moons ago, and then I started adding fun things like pearls to the flip flops, and wearing them all the time out of comfort.”

How did your Rocket Dogs all of a sudden become cool again?

“In recent years people began taking pictures of my Rocket Dogs at fashion shows. And someone told me, ‘You’ve got to stop wearing those things because people think you’re making them.’ I don’t really care what I look like at fashion week. I’m more worried about what the women I’m dressing are going to wear. But I kept getting asked about my shoes, so I cold called Rocket Dog and told them I had an idea. The timing was perfect with all these throwback 90s styles we’re seeing everywhere. Right after I started collaborating with Rocket Dog, I wore my new rainbow soled sandals to the Gucci show, and Alessandro Michele sent out a pair that was nearly identical. I’d love to say he was spying on me but I know he wasn’t. For Christmas, everyone gave me a pair of the Gucci ones, and they’re beautiful—so bright and fierce—but admittedly too heavy for me.”

The cheapness is what makes them chic, right?

“That’s what I like about my Rocket Dogs. The whole point is they’ve got to be inexpensive and for young people. They should be for whimsy. They’re not hip. They’re just fun and kind of tacky, and that’s what makes them cool. I would never leave behind my Louboutins or my Paul Andrews or my Manolos or my Gianvito’s, or any of the designers I work with on a regular basis. But because Rocket Dogs were already part of my personal uniform, collaborating with them just felt like the real deal.”

How do you style your ES X RD shoes? Who would you love to see wearing them?

“My paradise pair with the pink-and-red colors are so cute with just some Frame white jeans, a red-and-white striped top, and maybe a blue blazer. Keep it super simple. I honestly don’t know who my dream person to wear the shoes would be. I’d want someone young and fun like Selena Gomez but not as chic. Honestly, I’m not good with celebs, I just work with them. They’re all people to me.”


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