Calling all real ladies

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Calling all real ladies

It was clear to them that while there has been a marked improvement in the availability of chic plus-sized fashion brands, the same cannot be said for shoes. Since the s, the average shoe size for women in the UK has increased by two sizes, from a four to a six.

Calling all real ladies

Sadly, for ladies who require footwear larger than a UK size 7 on the high street, that looks vaguely cute and stylish, the pickings are usually slim. Keen to learn more about their entrepreneurial journey, we interviewed the ladies earlier this month to learn more about running a footwear brand and the challenges and triumphs they have experienced so far.

Calling all real ladies

I instantly thought there was a market opportunity and used my expertise as a former fashion creative director and owner to create a strategic roadmap to market. Being both our own customers Shola being a size 41 wide and me a 42 standard meant that we had a very organic relationship with our brand from day one.

Calling all real ladies

We launched the brand in to serve fashion-savvy women in need of more inclusive sizing and have been going strong since. Shola: I came up with the idea back inwhen my frustration at not being able to find the kind of shoes I wanted boiled over. I ed up for a footwear de and development course the following year and began laying the foundations for the business in It means that we provide equal focus on those two segments which have been underserved by the marketplace at large.

Shola: Hugely important. The customer who requires a wider fit is more often than not different to the customer who requires a bigger size. Both segments have not been well represented in the market and we felt that it was necessary to bring these two areas together if we were to be a truly inclusive brand. We pride ourselves on using custom lasts [replicas of the human foot used by shoemakers] and initial assumptions at the beginning of the de development cycle had to be revisited until we were fully satisfied.

The entrepreneurial journey is one with many challenges, but challenges are ultimately what takes you to the next step of the journey, so I see these as positive moments. Ultimately this and repeat orders is what keeps us going. Shola: Being finalists in the Drapers footwear awards two years in a row. The first time felt amazing but almost too good to be true. The second time around feels like a real recognition of all the hard work we put into the business. The best part of being a tight team however is that we bounce off each other on all aspects constantly and many elements of the strategy are developed tly.

I then spent a year working with a footwear de consultancy in Milan. to that I was a broadcast journalist. Shola: Being a footwear deer has made me so much more attuned to visual arts and mediums than I ever was before. It means inspiration can come from the unlikeliest of places — the cut and drape of a dress, an old photograph, the lines of a building.

I also love playing with colour and texture and simply leafing through fabric and leather swatches can generate ideas for des. Shola: I would love to de a pair of shoes for Tracee Ellis Ross. She is my absolute fashion girl crush. All these women understand their body shapes and have a distinct sense of style. It is slowly becoming our little cult trainers.

Shola: I would love for us to be a household name that is synonymous nationwide with quality footwear. In future I would love for us to have a few brick-and-mortar stores, and potentially expanding into other leather goods. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. What are the best plus-size fashion sites for curvy girls to shop right now? Fashion is art but it is a business too: spotlight on Frederica Boateng What has been the biggest challenges so far?

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Calling all real ladies

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Calling all real ladies

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