FashionABLE, a brand produced by women who have overcome extreme adversity, is making its foray into footwear.
On May 15, the company — which started out selling scarves handmade in Ethiopia before becoming a leather and jewelry business — will unveil 12 footwear styles, ranging in price from $78 to $150. At launch, the shoes will be sold on the brand’s e-commerce site, as well as in its flagship store in Nashville.
“We’ve been working in the leather industry creating bags for the past 3 1/2 years, so shoes felt like a natural next step for us,” explained Jordan Soderholm, FashionABLE’s fashion director and shoe designer. “Our shoe partner in Peru has blown us away with their design abilities, and we are excited to share the things we’ve created with them.”
Many of the Peruvian women creating the brand’s shoes have overcome circumstances such as addiction, prostitution and general lack of opportunity due to poverty, according to the company.
While the label’s mission has been a major selling point — attracting consumers who appreciate FashionABLE’s social conscious — Soderholm said the brand’s focus on quality and design has also been a game changer.
“We are equally driven by product design, quality and mission, so our customer base has grown with us as we’ve introduced new categories,” the designer said. “We’ve found people love buying FashionABLE products not only because of the mission behind the brand, but because we create everyday items they actually want to wear.”
The label plans to take the line to wholesale in fall ’17.
“Based on our customer response to our other categories, we are already looking for additional partners to produce our shoes,” Soderholm said. “We see a lot of these styles as classic silhouettes in wearable colors, so we are working on some super fun variations on them. Think: metallics, leopard, color blocking, adding texture. Nothing is out of the question for us.”