After featuring Malone Souliers lace up heels as a Bomb Product of the Day, and discovering that one half of the founding team was black fashionisto Roy Luwolt, I realized that there are probably a lot of African-Americans behind the scenes creating haute heels!
Below, five fabulous footwear designers you should have on your radar:
1. Aminah Abdul Jillil
Anchorage, Alaska native Aminah Abdul Jillil was a background dancer for Britney Spears and Janet Jackson before launching her eponymous line of shoes. Her bow pumps burst onto the scene and onto the soles of dozens of bloggers and street style stars.
Though Aminah’s bow pumps have been replicated by various brands, Jillil has kept the creativity going with studded and coin adorned flats, embellished pumps, and more.
Get yours at AminahAbdulJillil.com.
2. Layla Joy Williams of Iylia Collection
Pratt Institute of Technology graduate Layla Joy Williams honed her design skills under Michael Kors and Stuart Weitzman before launching Iylia, a line of gorgeous heels named after one of the most beautiful cities in Ancient Greece.
The practical sandals and boots, made in Brazil, are fashioned for women on the go with a flair for the fabulous.
Get your fill here.
3. Roy Luwolt of Malone Souliers
Roy Luwolt co-founded Malone Souliers along with Mary Alice Malone. Though Mary is the creative mind behind the designs, Luwolt offers his international expertise, having lived in over 45 countries as the child of American diplomats.
Malone Souliers shoes are pegged for a ‘certain woman’ with style–Solange Knowles has been spied in quite a few pairs.
Designs include fur, cut outs, lace ups, and more.
They are now available via their site and at select retailers, including Nordstrom and Bergdorf Goodman. Purchase below:
4. Chelsea Paris
Chelsea Paris shoes designer Theresa Ebagua named her shoe line after her two daughters. After having perfected her craft in Ars Sutoria in Milan, she infused her shoe line with a few of her biggest inspirations: Africa, the Art Deco movement, and French fashion.
Her artful, colorful footwork has found a fan in Beyonce.
I’m sure many will follow in Bey’s stylish footsteps. I mean, aren’t these fabulous?
5. Aurora James of Brother Vellies
After graduating from Toronto’s Ryerson University, Aurora James fused her love of shoes with her interest in nurturing African craftsmanship to create Brother Vellies. The line of sandals, boots, and shoes are created by talented artisans in South Africa, Kenya, and Namibia, and boast eye catching details like feathers and fur.
Now the toast of the fashion crowd, Brother Vellies elaborate shoes have been spied on a slew of street style stars; Aurora was named a CFDA Vogue/Fashion Fund finalist.
This past summer, Brother Vellies sold in Madewell; now you can find them everywhere from Nasty Gal to Moda Operandi. Shop a short selection below: