I always enjoy the talks at Fashion Forward as much as the runways. There are so many insights, wisdom, advise, .. and all of it, it is there if you are opened to it. Now that is about to be another edition I was just remembering about this amazing talk I enjoyed so much of the last edition.
I honestly wanted to attend this talk because I saw a spanish name on the panel and I like to support my nationals, even if it is just as listener. I love shoes, but I am not really in the shoe business. Then I realise that the panel was amazing with Aennis, Shamsi and Amanda Navai as shoe designers.
Let me briefly introduce you to them.. Aennis is a Jordanian with an amazing sense of aesthetics. He is an architect and is obsessed with geometry and calligraphy. His unique shoes reflect both: the architecture and the beautiful arabic calligraphy. I discovered him through Instagram. His feed made me dream…I was seeing my little ravioli feet with beautiful words around. I still can not read arabic -left alone the calligraphy- I just trust that they dont say “stinky feet” or “I need a pedicure” kind of message ( Aennis I hope I am not giving you ideas! Lol).
Aennis was for me the most authentic within the panel (sorry guys, everybody has a favourite!).
Amanda shoes are very nice too. Her UPS is that they are made out of pythom and she spoke about how she started the shoes out of the leather scraps from the bags. Pythom is expensive material to use and if you can maximise the leather piece, then you should. She mentioned a lot the need to be on top of your business ( so true, creative souls of the world listen attentively..). She moved to Lebanon because of that.. same as Aennis lives in Italy. Just be where you produce and keep your eyes on the production to make sure your standards are understood and kept at all times.
Rania and Alberto were representing the Shoe Level district. For those who don’t know it is like shoe paradise, all the most beautiful, unique shoes in the world live there happily ever after, being admired and purchased by savvy shoe lovers. This heaven is ruled and curated by Chalhoub group.
Shamsi is a local designer of male traditional shoes. He knows perfectly his market and what works here. Sure he wants to grow but he is seeking the best way to do it without loosing hi straditional touch. Not easy.. Local o Global..What is it Glocal in reality? Should we loose our identity to open new markets or show we just stick to what we know best, what we are comfortable with?
During the talks, we heard both answers: yes and no. So I guess we will have to find our way accordingly to our personal circumstances. These were some of the messages said during the talk…
The most important thing is passion.
As a designer, be humble..
Listen to the retailers, listen to the customers, listen to everybody…
Start by little…
It would be great to develop the craftmanship for footwear in the region.
Prada is not my competitor…
I posted all the pics of the talk on the Facebook Blog’s page, but here you have some of them. I am so lucky to have a cute pic with Aennis!..Next step is having a pic with his cute shoes!.