This is Laura’s story, from personal heartbreak, to the inspiring creation of Laura See London, to where her brand is now……
Laura first started sketching shoes in 2015 when her husband was undergoing treatment for cancer. These moments of creativity were an outlet for her and allowed an escape from reality for a short while. After her husband passed in late 2015, Laura was in desperate need of something to take her mind off of everything. This led her to take a pattern-cutting course at the London College of Fashion, where she learned the basics of shoe construction.
By 2017, after travelling the world, Laura realised that her current job was leaving her unfulfilled. She felt a real need to explore her creativity and follow her passion, after everything that she had been through, she knew that life was too short to have any regrets.
This realisation is what led Laura to put together a basic portfolio and set up a meeting with Georgina Goodman - an icon in the fashion industry. Georgina’s advice - ‘’hone your talents and skills. Go back to school and study your passion!’’
After meeting with Georgina, Laura was inspired and ready to start her journey towards making her dreams a reality. In 2018 she applied for a three-four year shoe design course at the London College of Fashion but somehow this didn’t feel like the right fit. This led her to Instituto Marangoni, a prestigious fashion school in Florence, Italy, which offered a one-year intensive shoe design course.
In 2018, Laura was awarded a Scholarship with Marangoni and decided to leave her job and move to Florence. Laura felt that the change of scenery was exactly what she needed and since she had been married in Italy, it felt like a sign that she was on the right path. Laura’s year in Florence with Marangoni, was one of the best of her life. The course included shoe design, commercial awareness, material selection, pattern cutting, marketing, and taking a design from sketch to production. Combining this with the beauty and history of Florence, meeting new people who shared the same passions and being surrounded by endless opportunities to create…. Laura knew that she was exactly where she needed to be!
2019 saw Laura graduate from Instituto Marangoni and was awarded a one month's Internship with IDEE Partners - a factory producing luxury footwear and accessories in Scandicci, Florence. This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and allowed Laura to see skilled artisans at work and the steps it takes to make just one pair of shoes!
Feeling incredibly inspired and ready to kick off her new journey in the shoe industry, Laura returned to the UK in 2019 and promptly started applying for jobs in Shoe Design. Despite applying to over 1,000 companies, Laura got few replies or was faced with the offers of working for free for a year. With bills to pay and the reality of settling back into everyday life, Laura returned to her previous industry feeling slightly defeated and unseen.
When lockdown hit, Laura had extra time on her hands. She decided to start entering shoe design competitions and sketching shoes. She had kept in touch with her tutors in Italy and started to explain the idea of starting her own brand. During her last year in Marangoni- one of the projects incorporated her love of British Design. Where her own bespoke artwork, mixed with Italian construction had come to life. She had always wanted a Hummingbird on the soles and from that moment the idea stuck with her and the start of Laura See London was beginning to take shape.
Laura worked with many branding companies to get the logo just right – the logo had to include the Hummingbird as it was to play a memorable part in the brand. It was also key that Laura used her own name - to remember how far she had come. Her aim was to create a brand that would create fun and beautifully crafted shoes for women who, like Laura, had been on or were about to embark on their own journey, and wanted their Laura See - London shoes to guide them.
All shoes feature a splash of Laura's own artwork, and every element is considered in fine detail -Laura is involved in every element of the brand. So the only thing left was to launch the Laura See London website in May 2021. A small collection of bold and feminine shoes for the first collection with a larger collection launching for A/W 21/22
Over the last 12 months, Laura has won ‘Honorable Mention for Sustainability’ at the Global Footwear Awards. Has been shortlisted for ‘Best New Brand’ at the Drapers Footwear awards, has had a pop-up at John Lewis, London and Ascot. Her story, shoes and dedication to her craft have been featured in Vanity Fair and Closer magazines. Plus her Esmeralda 105 sandals have recently been worn by Lesley Paterson at the BAFTAS.
Laura has achieved so much in such a short space of time, she is an inspiration to female founders and this is just the very beginning of her journey.
So what is Laura working on for the future…?
‘’A new Autumn /Winter 23/24 Collection which is inspired by blurring the lines between masculine and feminine dressing, mixing familiar styles with a twist, luxurious textures in rich tones that can move across each season, with a pop of mixed media print, strategically placed on each and every shoe. It's time to feel good about ourselves and to have some fun’’.
Watch this space……