Born in 1966 in Penang, Malaysia to a British Army officer, Rupert Sanderson lived the life of an army child. After graduating from Royal Holloway University and Bedford New College, London University, he worked in advertising before enrolling on the shoe-making course at Cordwainers College (now part of the London College of Fashion).
Sanderson worked in Italy under Sergio Rossi and Bruno Magli in the late nineties, before returning to the United Kingdom to start his own shoe company in 2001. In July 2006, Sanderson bought a controlling interested in the Italian factory he had worked with since his own company opened. In 2008, Fashion Fringe Shoes was launched by Sanderson with fashion critic Colin McDowell to discover and nurture young design talent. Sanderson was awarded Accessory Designer of The Year twice: in 2008 by the British Fashion Awards and in 2009 at the Elle Style Awards in the United Kingdom.