Hello! Welcome! Here begins new space for expression. And a new beginning requires introductions - so let me set the scene for the exciting writing, photography and creative expressions to come...
So, first up, the basics:
My name is Thaïs. I grew up and currently live in London and I'm studying footwear design at Cordwainers at London College of Fashion. I'm just about to start 2nd year of my BA degree and I am 20 years old. (That's me in the photo above at a funky light installation at the Natural History Museum.)
I thought I'd interview myself next as unfortunately I am neither important enough, nor famous enough to be interviewed by someone. Yet. ;-)
What made you want to become a footwear designer?
Since as long as I can remember I have always wanted to work in fashion. When I was younger I wanted to be a fashion designer. I used to draw clothes and make paper doll dresses and read fashion magazines religiously, I even had a fashion blog at the age of 13! However I hated sewing and making clothes and as a result grew more and more interested in accessories. I chose to study footwear design for two reasons. Firstly, I am motivated by my own struggle to find shoes that fit (and are beautiful) my very narrow half-size feet. I feel there is a lack of consideration for comfort in the fashion footwear industry and I'd like to address that. Secondly, footwear design comes very naturally to me and suits my personality and style. Shoes, being small 3D objects require the ability to think three dimensionally which I enjoy, and a certain attention to detail and precision. No detail is lost on a shoe and every line and stitch matters plus they must look equally beautiful standing on a table and on a foot. A challenge I love to tackle.
What does a footwear designer do?
Believe it or not, its not just doodling pretty shoes all day. Being a footwear designer is an intense and demanding job. I'm not a working one yet, but I do have an idea of what the job entails. You've got to do research for your designs, which can include going on field trips, to the library, to leather and fabric shops or just browsing the web for inspiration. Then there's the designing itself which involves drawings, experimentation and material sampling. Don't forget all the technical drawings to send to the factory to follow and range plans to show the merchandising and buying teams. Plus you're constantly making adjustments to prototypes as they are made to make sure they fit well and look right, and checking in with all other departments. That's what I understand the job entails from what I've learnt at university, but I've still got lots to learn!
Favourite pair of shoes?
My 6 year old lace-up black leather wedges by Acne. They were my first pair of high heels and the oldest pairs of shoes I own. They are well made, comfortable but sexy, edgy but timeless (so still in fashion) and go with everything - now that's what I call a well designed shoe.
(Black pen drawing of shoe below)
Shoes you wouldn't be seen dead in?
Sky-high 6-inch sparkly Christian Louboutin platform heels. If I were to wear them I probably would be seen dead in them as I would fall over after one step. You might have expected me to say Uggs or Crocs, a typically 'ugly' shoe, but at least they have a practical use. Louboutin platform heels however should be registered as torture devices and banned.
Your style in 5 words?
Classic, quirky, subtle, evolving, sophisticated.
Favourite quotes by other artists/fashion designer?
'It's true that I am my own muse. I don't like this word but when I studied fashion at Studio Berçot [the Paris fashion college] the director said, "You shouldn't want others to wear things that you won't wear yourself," and that's something that never left me.'
'Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.'
Leonardo da Vinci.
And with that I believe my introduction is complete. I have lots more share and I hope you'll enjoy what is to come.