"Middle Eastern women wear incredibly high heels and bold colours to express themselves" – Shoe designer, Chloe Gosselin
New at Boutique 1
C hloe Gosselin is a mother-of-one, wife to illusionist David Copperfield and the designer of her eponymous shoe brand of the same name. Here Gosselin talks exclusively to Buro 24/7 Middle East ahead of her Dubai shoe debut at Boutique 1 about her shoe obsession, being a business woman and how her daughter Sky inspires her creations...
Chloe Gosselin the brand is only three years old. As a start-up what's one thing you never knew, but wish you did before you started?
Before I developed my brand, I was so enthusiastic creatively that I didn't measure how difficult the fashion industry was, especially right now. I wish I would have had more of an understanding of what would have been involved on the business side, but I have been learning about everything on the job these past few years.
What was the turning point for you in becoming a shoe designer?
First of all, I've had an obsession with shoes my whole life. I've always expressed myself through drawing, so I naturally started sketching shoes as a child. After a Bachelor in Fine Arts and a short decade as a model, I reverted back to my first love for design and shoes. Footwear is for me, the perfect bridge between fashion and art.
In a recent Instagram post you said nature is your first inspiration. Does your daughter ever influence your design process too?
My daughter Sky is my absolute muse. It is after becoming a mother that I had the strength to pursue my dream of becoming a shoe designer. She is always with me and we draw side by side very often. She loves bright and colorful details, she inspires me to be more playful in my designs.
You've walked numerous runways and red carpets in what must be uncountable designer shoes. Was something missing that made you decide to create your own heels?
When I launched the brand I had a certain nostalgia for well-crafted shoes but with a little twist or an unusual detail. I also had this fascination for exotic leathers and unusual colour combinations. I feel like my background as a painter helped me to visualise these subtleties in materials and colours.
I wanted the shoe to be the most important piece of the outfit but still remain chic and timeless.
What's one thing people don't know about you as a person?
It's hard to hide things with social media these days... But I'm an avid horseback rider. I started riding when I was five in France. I used to work cleaning stables and feeding horses so I could ride extra hours. I now have my own horse Milo, a beautiful Andalusian whom I ride five days a week in Dressage.
What's one style of shoe you'll never wear or design and why?
Well I don't want to say never, but I'm not a huge fan of wedges and particularly wedge espadrilles.
You design in the US and manufacture in Milan, tell us about your studio and any parallels with the warehouse in Italy.
I take a lot of pride in being a multi-cultural brand. I'm French and Spanish, studied in Belgium and moved to the US. When I decided to start the brand, Italy was always the most important part of the equation. The best footwear has always been made there, I love seeing the craftsman in the factory — they are true artists. Even if my studio is on the other side of the planet I always feel this connection to Italy and I love getting the technician's feedback on the new designs we are developing in the studio.
How would you describe your shoes in three words?
Detailed, feminine and curvaceous.
Your shoes are stocked across the Middle East. What's your view on the way women wear shoes here?
I think the Middle East is certainly a daring place for footwear. I love how Middle Eastern women wear incredibly high heels, bold colours and materials to express themselves.
Tell us about your personal shoe collection... How many, any specific colour ways, how do you store them?
I have a couple of walls of shoes in my closet, most of them are from my own collections and I organise them by colour stories. I have possibly over 100 pairs? I also still have my collection of shoes before the brand that I cherish and inspire me, from Sergio Rossi to Chanel, Fendi and Chloe.
What's next for Chloe Gosselin?
I'm thrilled to be launching with some great new retailers for Fall/Winter '17 including Boutique 1. Our e-commerce platform is being redeveloped too. We are also currently working on the new Spring/Summer '18 collection and introducing a Pre-Fall collection for next year. I'm also scheduling a visit to Dubai later in the year.
Now, shop the newly launched Level Shoes e-commerce store.