When I think of holidays, I dream of cities. Not one for lying on the beach, my version of a relaxing trip consists of waking at dawn, finding a gorgeous breakfast spot and the perfect coffee, then eagerly starting the day before the sun has even had the chance to warm up the pavements. I am, what you would call, an annoying morning person.
I love to walk. Pulling on my comfy, well-worn sneakers and exploring while I watch a city come alive never fails to delight. It both energises and calms me in a way that only travel seems to do. I can easily spend hours meandering down every cobbled street, alleyway and boulevard a city has to offer.
Therein lies the problem. As afternoon turns to evening, the cafes, restaurants and bars come to life. It’s a chance to enjoy another side of a city in the hours after twilight. I prefer to head straight out to save time, however, I consistently feel less than stylish when propping up a cocktail bar in my chunky gym sneakers.
An idea started to form – where could I find a luxe pair of sneakers, comfortable enough to explore all day, but stylish enough to wear out in the evenings?
There are so many stunning brands making premium sneakers, yet nothing on the market quite ticked all the boxes for me. I wanted something a little retro, made from soft, high-quality leather but which also offered amazing comfort and durability. Elegant and chic, I wanted them to be paired easily with multiple outfits making packing less of a struggle. I was seeking affordable luxury, made from the best materials but at a reasonable price-point. Finding myself inspired, I decided to take the leap and create my own brand.
Making it Happen
I’m a born researcher, and before long I had joined forces with a footwear designer who helped me turn my vision into reality. There was a lot to learn in terms of construction, production standards and manufacturing tolerances, but the production of sneakers – for independent brands at least – is a beautifully manual process. It’s a case of putting pencil to paper and working with a pattern maker to create your first prototypes. No CAD or 3D models here, just talented craftsmen cutting materials by hand.