I love shoes, you know that. When I discovered GlamRockChic I fell completely head over heels in love. The colors are amazing, the designs are unique and even after we did the giveaway I still wanted to know more about the brand. Check out the feature and leave a comment letting us know what you think.
1. When did you realize you wanted to be a shoe designer and how did you settle on the name Glam Rock Chic?
When I realized I could actually draw shoes decent enough for someone to take them and make them. Along the way I learned as much as I could about shoe construction from my factory and through trial and error. It was also a snowballed effect of being exhausted from my corporate job, frustrated and unappreciated that drove me to finally leave and bring out my pencils and paper to start designing. The name GlamRockChic came about from me looking at all my shoe designs and thinking “this one looks glam, that one looks rockish, and those are chic…” Eventually these 3 words stood out so much that I played around with them and formed GlamRockChic! Unfortunately I wasn’t born with a glamorous name like Christian Louboutin to name my label after me so I am pretty happy with GlamRockChic. LOL.
2. Which would you say is the hardest, designing the shoe, waiting for the prototype or relying on feedback from actual customers?
Waiting for the prototype, hands down. It is one of the hardest and most nerve wrecking thing as factories tend to take their own sweet time. And when you finally do get them, it could be a hair tugging, tantrum throwing scenario when you discover that the factory had wrongly interpreted your design or missed out crucial elements even though the drawings have gone through verbal discussions on a one to one basis with the factory rep. I do have creative temperament, am quite anal about details and abhor mistakes and quality issues. At the end of the day, it’s just wanting the best product out for the customer – product integrity is really important for me, especially at this point where the brand is still relatively unknown and needs to make the best impression. Any mistake means a another round of sample – which takes time. And we all know time is money.
3. How do you come up with the names of the shoes you design?
I actually name them after I draw them based on a certain person I think the shoe might gel with. Like Angelina (Jolie) if the shoe was strong and full of hardware as it is a shoe for an ultra confident and “fierce” gal. Or if the shoe has an element in there that is interesting, I would go with that element. Example, Precious Metal because it has this gold metal mesh around the shoe and because it took so long for the factory to get it right without breaking the metal during the lasting process, I felt it was really a precious shoe, hence Precious Metal. For the shootie that has a heart shape cut out on the vamp, I named it Heart & Soul as it sounded just right. I put my whole heart into this business and designing, hence the shoe represents everything about me and my hopes for success in this new venture.
4. When it comes to shoe designers do you have any who inspire you? Which designers might we find in your closet?
I am inspired by the Bionda and Castana girls. They design really lovely shoes and they are not trained in shoe designing, much like me and they are able to make it. To hear their story and to know that stores like Harrods and Ashley Isham stock their shoes is such an inspiration to me. A girl from a small country like Malaysia can dream right? Another person is Camilla Skoovgard for telling the world that her shoes are made in China and they are perfect. Her shoes are so simple yet quite complicated – it boggles my mind and keeps me in awe. Of course then there is the very commercial Christian Louboutin for his eureka moment of discovering red soles that has made his shoes the IT shoes of the moment and perhaps for a very long time. I wished I had those kind of eureka moments. Nicholas Kirkwood for his extremely fierce and very recognizable shoes.
No, I do not have any designer shoes in my closet. They are too expensive for me. A simple designer shoe costs around MYR3000 – 5000 per pair, which is insanely expensive and a month’s salary for most Malaysian women. That is why after spending years of coveting this and that shoe and feeling frustrated that they are out of my reach, I decided to design myself and make them as affordable as I could. Nowadays, I wear GlamRockChic as much as I can as it is important to test the shoes out so that I can improve.
5. I believe that every woman who wears heels has a little exhibitionist in her. Which of your styles do you think brings out the exhibitionist in you the most?
Precious Metal – it is the gold metal mesh. Not many shoes now uses metal mesh for reason that it’s not an easy material to apply to shoes. When you wear it, it shines and brings attention to your feet. The original mesh I had in mind was a vivid gold, very sparkly but at the end felt it was too much and settled for a whiter, more matte mesh. The other would be Roxanne, which is sexy and vampish. It does turn heads as well. I wear it without the tassles as I felt they were creating too much attention on me!
6. What is your shoe design motto?
Edgier than mass produced designs but with aesthetic sensibility that is practical for daily wear, for office, not just for red carpet occasions. That is why I go with mostly 4” – 4.7” heels which is still kinder to the feet and leg muscles, and designs that are not too funky or weird, like the stuff that you find on catwalks. In short, I am not Mihai Albu or Chow Har Lee (who I also admire).
7. When women are wearing your shoes, what do you want them to feel, think or discover about themselves?
I just want them to feel sexy without being too bogged down by the feeling of pain associated with high heels. I do my best to minimize that. Some still hurts, but some are very comfortable. Other than that, think what you want, be who you want to be – let your imagination run free.
8. In 5 years what would GlamRockChic be offering ladies who love amazing shoes?
I hope I can continue to my 5th year! At this moment, am grateful to be living it day by day and taking baby steps. Hopefully, more artistic, trademark pieces in 5 years’ time. Camilla Skoovgard has her serrated sole trademark, Louboutin has his red sole, I have something in mind but it has to just wait for the right time and funding.
Visit the official website and shop at www.GlamRockChic.com