It’s been far too long since I’ve featured footwear and so I’ve decided to remedy that situation by introducing onto the blog the lovely Shaherazad and her sparkling shoes. Inspired by flamingos, designed with love and pzazz, these heeled shoes epitomise both comfort and elegance – ideal for weddings, parties, barmitzvahs and whatever other social occasion you may want to flaunt your footwear! And you will definitely want to flaunt these shoes! The brand is all about empowered women of today supporting empowered women of the future…. Hi Shaherazad!
What was it about flamingos that inspired you to design your luxury heels?
I had always marvelled at how flamingos are able to stand for hours on end on one leg. I was intrigued to find out their secret as to how they find this comfortable and what it is that makes this a universal trait on flamingos. And so I set about to find the answer. I wanted to discover how they live with such poise, grace and elegance. And so, Shoes by Shaherazad were created inspired by the mathematics of how a flamingo stands.
My favourite style in your latest collection is the Blush Pink “Time To Bloom” heels. What styles are most popular?
The best seller by far is “Stand Tall Sister”. It was a hit as soon as it was launched as it can be worn stylishly strapless to elongate the visual length of the leg or with a strap for a pretty boardroom to bar look.
Have you got a favourite style from your collection?
Ah yes. Mine is “Dream then Do” in Gold. It is the first one I designed which I put in to production and so it will always have a special place in my heart. The name of shoe was inspired by Deborah Rodriguez who wrote “The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul”. Her book inspired me to take action on my idea. In fact, if you check out this design on line you will see a quote from the book alongside it.
Your brand, Shoes By Shaherazad, is all about empowered women of today empowering women of the future. Every purchase of Shoes By Shaherazad heels directly supports the wellbeing of a woman or girl living in poverty through the Solidarity By Shaherazad programme. What projects has the programme covered so far?
Oh so many! But the main ones are based in Pakistan, Palestine, Kenya and Peru. I’ve picked projects which support females who are living in extreme poverty to gain an education. This means that they can gain the skills they need to lift themselves, and often their entire families out of poverty. As a woman, I believe that I have a societal duty to help negate the gender equality imbalance in the world. Through my company www.shaherazad.com a woman who can afford luxury shoes empowers a woman who can’t to gain an education. To me, that’s true shoe romance!
Many celebrities have been advocates for your heels – Charlotte Tilbury & Alexa Chung to name a few. Hypothetically speaking, which famous person would you love to see as the “face” of Shoes By Shaherazad?
Angelie Jolie. And not because of her Hollywood fame, but because of the wonderful work she has done in raising the profile of refugees and people living in poverty. Her book “Notes from my travels” is truly inspiring and when I’m feeling sad about the inequality and poverty in the world I often use Angelina’s ambassador work to inspire me to action. Angelina, if you’re reading this I would love to meet you.
Any pair of your heels can be worn plain or sparkly through your unique “shoellery” (shoe jewellery) concept. Can you explain a bit more about the shoe jewellery concept?
I wanted to create a pair of shoes that was not only comfortable from boardroom to bar, but stylish as well. That’s where the shoellery concept comes in. The shoes can be worn plain by day and then by night a shoellery strap is added to add crystal shine to any outfit. The shoellery can be carried in a little luxury pouch which is supplied in your handbag throughout the day so there’s no need to store extra heels at the office. It also means that a woman can buy one pair of heels and any number of shoellery designs to transform her look – no need to keep buying lots of new heels. The heels become kind of a “forever shoe”, especially because they’re very classically designed.
Although you are based in the UK, is your footwear available to purchase overseas?
Absolutely. I deliver worldwide and won an award earlier this month for being “Exporter of the Year’ as recognised by the National SME Awards in Britain. It was a hug honour and I currently export to over 21 countries.
When thinking about designing footwear, do you consider popular styles, current trends, customer feedback/suggestions or bits of all those?
For me, it’s always about style over fashion. Shoes have to look good and stand the test of time. Fashion comes and goes so it’s less of an imperative for me. I design from the heart.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
I love wearing printed suits – trousers and jackets make dressing so easy and yet so smart. I also absolutely love photo print dresses. And of course, both of these outfit styles can be teamed well with my 18 hour heels.
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites? (apart from your own!)
I’m a big fan of Folli Follie jewellery. It’s so pretty, especially the rose gold designs. I also love Valentino as their dresses are so fairy tale like. And of course, there has to be Gucci!
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
A “feminist” slogan T shirt I can wear to work, days out and drinks with friends. I also love yellow so perhaps a bright canary yellow dress; I’m not a fan of the mustard colour that’s everywhere this year.
Boots or Shoes?
Shoes – they’re chic-er!
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook etc so that readers can find out more about Shoes by Shaherazad.
@18hourheels (twitter, instagram)
ShoesbyShaherazad (Facebook, Pinterest)
Ooh … I loved the book “The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul”! I also loved the fact that you, Shaherazad, had studied flamingos enough to try and recreate a comfortable heel that still epitomises elegance. Wishing your venture every success!
All photos published with kind permission of Shoes By Shaherazad.