When Stacey Chang couldn’t find a pair of pumps that could comfortably and fashionably take her through her busy day, she left her job in corporate America and jumped feet first into the shoe business. Her line of high-end looks under the Veerah label launched on Oct. 16.
Chang, 33, is a vegetarian, and she’s producing the collection entirely out of vegan components. Versatility is also a key part of the Veerah story, including ankle straps and tassels that can be mixed and matched.
“I was traveling a lot for work and could only take a carry-on on the plane,” said Chang about the decision to create companion accessories for her footwear. “I needed one shoe that could look good for everything — and an accessory could change up a look.”
According to Chang, the collection was two years in the making. She has experience in the fashion industry, having worked at cosmetic giant Estee Lauder in Hong Kong in addition to accessories brand Coach, where she was involved in international sales and merchandise planning. But she was a newbie to footwear.
To get up to speed, Chang attended the Ars Sutoria design school in Italy, where she learned the footwear basics. She then went to China, where the shoes are produced. The collection includes four styles ranging in heel height from just under two inches to just over four. Each incorporates comfort features, such as memory foam at the ball, heel and arch support; anti-friction cushioning at the heel; organic-cotton lining and a flexible outsole with anti-slip properties. Each pair comes with an accessory.
Retail prices for the line range from $258 to $288, with additional accessories selling from $24 to $38.
Chang said she also carefully chose the company’s name to reflect her customer base. “Veerah” is Sanskrit for “warrior.”
“Modern women are like warriors,” she said. “Ready to conquer the world.”
To support this spirit, Veerah has a philanthropic component to its business model, helping to fund the mission and programs of She’s The First, a scholarship program for girls in low-income countries. The first recipient is Sunita from the Kopila Valley School in Nepal.