In Her Words: Female Designers Talk Empowering Women Through Shoes

For fall ’16, distinctive footwear styles are envisioned by women, for women.

Here, we asked 12 leading female designers to share personal thoughts on handpicked shoes — from platforms to loafers — and what it means to empower in them. The through line? Forward-thinking design and a sense of wearability.

tibi sandal
Tibi buckled sandal, designed by Amy Smilovic.
CREDIT: Leslie Kirchhoff

“I love to create shoes that are beautiful both on and off the foot,” said designer Charlotte Olympia Dellal. “Being a female designer allows me to try on every pair to make sure you can walk in them, dance in them, and if necessary, even run in them!”

“The Carla [loafer] speaks to a very specific woman,” added designer Sarah Flint. “A woman who wants to be noticed, a woman who appreciates the finer things, a woman who does not have to wear sky-high heels to feel sexy.”

zero maria cornejo flat
Zero + Maria Cornejo paint splatter slip-on, designed by Maria Cornejo.
CREDIT: Leslie Kirchhoff

Designer Chloe Gosselin made a case for heels as a woman’s instant confidence booster. “To me, high heels are by nature an object of empowerment,” she said. “They change the way you stand and walk.”

For more fall ’16 shoes designed by women, click through the gallery.

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