“Hello and good morninggg to youuu,” Tracee Ellis Ross sings as she caresses her leather grommeted — shandalboots?
“That’s the worst song ever, but look at my shoes, or boots or boot-shoes, or sandals — what are they? Boot shoes, sandals, shandals,” she says to herself before landing on a term that seems to most appropriately describe the thigh-high style from black-owned luxury footwear brand Stella Hues. As the actress laughed to herself with pleasure in a video posted to her Instagram yesterday, she asked her 5 million followers, “What are your shandalboots like?”
Her “Black-ish” co-star Marcus Scribner responded with the perfect comment. “Why have one when you can have it all?” said the 18-year-old actor, who plays her oldest son on the show.
“Exactly,” Ross replied.
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Stella Maze, founder of Stella Hues, is known for her blue-bottomed soles, wild prints and ultrafeminine aesthetic. The New York-based entrepreneur spoke to FN last February to share her thoughts on inclusivity in the industry as a black shoe designer.
“I think we have always been a part of fashion just without major recognition. As of right now, we are getting a chance to be known on a bigger scale. This new generation of designers are no-holds-barred. We are knocking down doors, breaking barriers, making a name and leaving a mark,” she said.
Maze continued by pointing out action steps she’d like to see the industry take to foster diversity in an authentic manner.
“The industry can support design talent of black communities by offering more avenues for new talent to grow, learn, see and be a part of what it takes to be successful (accountability classes, mentorship programs, affordable workshops, field trips and seminars). In a world where everyone is tech-savvy, possibilities are endless,” explained Maze.
Perhaps the industry can take a page straight out of Ross’ book for starters and incorporate pieces by more people of color, whether in everyday wear or for public forums. In addition to the “shandal boots,” the upcoming AMAs host sported a crisp white dress from Christopher John Rogers, another black designer who is breaking through the mold.
Check out more of the black shoe designers to know now by clicking through the gallery.
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