New York Fashion Week is upon us, and we're floating on clouds (in heel protectors so that we don't fall through, of course) with anticipation. It's the feeling you get when the lights dim, the spotlight shines and a hush comes over the crowd just before the runway show starts. Trends are definitely top of mind and the colors of the season you've been dying to see come to life in prints, plaids and pleats are a major part of the thrill.
But, the most exhilarating part? It’s got to be meeting the up-and-coming visionaries in shoe design. Here are four emerging shoe designers you’ll want to keep your eye on this season.
1. Aleksander Siradekian
Loved by Russian fashionistas and called ‘the Russian Louboutin’, Aleksander has gained recognition outside his home country Russia. His shoes can be purchased in Paris, London, Florence and other fashion hubs, and the brand has gained most of its momentum through word of mouth via social media.
“I do not care too much for trends. In fact, I have created my own trend with the silk tassels, and I hope they are a must-have for the next seasons to come.” -- Aleksander Siradekian
2. Aminah Abdul Jillil
Aminah Abdul Jillil began her career as a professional dancer in Los Angeles. She made her dreams of becoming a shoe designer a side hustle, calling her living room her worldwide headquarters. Eventually, she took some of her handmade prototypes to a sample-maker in L.A., a small start that has grown to become a full-fledged collection in 2012.
“I enjoy the many different characteristics of design…the minimal, sleek, masculine/feminine…dramatic. They are all a part of me and show up in my designs.” -- Aminah Abdul Jillil
3. Alessandra Lanvin
Alessandra Lanvin may have started out as a fashion headhunter, but now she's made a name for herself as head-of-the-curve in shoe design. Lanvin's couture footwear line launched in 2009 under the name Aperlai, an ancient town along the Lycian coast of Southern Turkey. The brand is best known for its signature Geisha Heel, playing with strong lines and classic geometric shapes.
“You must obviously understand that, when a woman comes to see you, it’s not to buy a simple pump. She wants something specific, something like a sculpture, something that stands out.” – Alessandra Lanvin, Aperlai
4. Natalia Barbieri and Jennifer Portman
Co-founders Natalia Barbieri and Jennifer Portman are the women behind the buzzworthy brand Bionda Castana -- which means Blonde Brunette in Italian -- who are both half-Italian, and born and raised in London. The powerful pair first bonded over their creative passions and shared experiences in banking and marketing. After much research, they identified a niche market for feminine shoes minus the girlish frills that make bold statements without being cheeky.
“The Bionda Castana woman is cool, confident and elegant in a non-traditional way. She is fashion forward, loves to mix & match and is experimental with her look.” -- Natalia Barbieri and Jennifer Portman
Photo by @aleksandersiradekian, Instagram