This Woman's Work - 5 mins with Laura See London
Laura See London shoes are designed solely by Laura, are hand made in Italy and always feature a splash of her own artwork printed onto leather as well as a dainty gold hummingbird on the sole. They are a perfect balance of unique, stylish and wearable.
When did Laura See London launch?
May 2021. I launched just as the World was opening after the pandemic. I felt that women would need something different and some much needed glamour after a year of being locked away.
How did Laura’s journey into footwear begin?
After my husband died I had nothing left to loose. I knew my life had to be meaningful and lived without regrets. So, I quit my job of 14 years and moved to Italy on a Scholarship to design shoes for a year. The best decision I have ever made.
How did Laura take her vision for a brand and turn it into reality?
I had time in lockdown – the only positive. I started sketching, I researched branding, PR, materials and went from there. I already had my USP - my story, the marrying of art and fashion and the hummingbird on the sole – a reminder to walk your own path and be fearless.
What is the best part of owning a shoe brand?
Seeing my visions become reality. Being able to combine my love of shoes and art into a product that other women can appreciate. Plus, all of the samples are made in my size so I can wear them all the time. I have over 300 pairs of shoes!
Where do you get your inspiration?
Other strong women. Women who are breaking the boundaries and chasing their dream. Also art, nature, colour and architecture. I love anything to do with history of fashion and creating something that looks pretty, but has a solid structure too. Without a good design, shoes simply won’t work.
What does ‘woman led’ mean to you?
It means having the knowledge, experience and can-do attitude to achieve anything.
Laura has worked with some incredible women on her journey - what does she enjoy about working with women?
Honesty and determination. Women have a way of hearing the problem and trying to work out a way to fix it. We are doers. Women I have worked with have been driven and encouraging. We also allow each other to be vulnerable at times and that can be part of the process.
How did you learn to sketch shoes?
I taught myself! I started sketching at a time in my life when I needed a distraction and sketching is so therapeutic. Then I moved to Italy to study shoe design and learnt from the most incredible teacher. She was incredible at sketching and teaching how to hand colour.
What sets you apart from your competition?
My story is unique and I think people can relate to it. I am hardworking and I am pursuing a dream – I have to make it happen for myself. My splash of print and the hummingbirds add an instant USP. I love pretty shoes that you can walk in!
What three words would Laura use to describe herself?
Determined, creative and genuine
What women does your brand target?
My brand is focused on positive, fun and fearless women who appreciate quality, style and comfort. I want to build a network of women who will love and support the journey. There is no age restriction. Women of all ages should feel represented, beautiful and worthy. I refuse to put women into a tick box.
Which women would you love to see wearing your shoes?
Women that appreciate great design, quality and feeling fabulous.
What have been the highs of the brand’s journey so far?
When the first samples arrived and I finally saw my name on the sole of the shoe. I felt so proud to have achieved such a huge amount during lockdown – it was not easy! Photoshoots are always so much fun and being featured in Vanity Fair for their Hollywood Edition – just such a great feeling.
What have been the lows?
It can be all consuming and quite lonely. Building a business is not easy. You do have to sacrifice a lot as a new independent brand, but I am confident that it will be worth it in the end.
What are your three top pieces of advice for women wanting to do something similar?
Follow your gut and just go for it!!! I once read that when you jump, the net will catch you.
Work hard….. there is no such thing as overnight success.
Don’t take no for an answer. You can do whatever you set out to do.
I always say "I can and I will. Just watch me."
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