My journey as a ladies footwear designer
I graduated from the London College of Fashion in Fashion Management Business and Finance and I have worked in the luxury, fashion and ladies footwear industry for over twenty five years for many notable brands including management training at John Lewis Partnership, Dorchester Collection Hoteliers and Whistles Ladies Designer.
In 1998 I identified the footwear fashion scene was beginning to gain international recognition and the area of designer shoes for women was still vastly undeveloped. I decided to pursue a career in this field and secured employment at Office London, in their buying and designer womens shoes department which was then the cutting edge of footwear fashion we discovered several top Italian shoes designers.
In 2001 I identified a niche in the market for a new quirky designer shoes collection, which consisted of lower heeled casual shoes and commenced my own business under the brand name of Neet. At that time our manufacturing was from China which operated under the old system of quota’s and Chinese footwear production was rare on the British High Street. I sold my designer shoes collection to Harrods, Selfridges, Fenwick’s, KG, amongst many others. In addition to this I sold to independent womens designer shoe boutiques nationwide and in Japan, Italy and the USA. At this time the Irish economy was about to boom and I relocated my designer shoe company to Ireland. I sold my brand to the majority of independent retailers in Ireland and the UK.
Due to popular demand from my customers I developed a new brand Minette which consisted of designer high heels. During this time I identified there was a niche in the market for high end Italian ladies shoes and over a period of time I sourced my top Italian shoes designer network to conduct business with.
I was requested by the British Footwear Association to be the sole representative for Britain at implementing the International Codes of Conduct at the European Union headquarters in Brussels.
In 2008 I was awarded Irish Accessories Designer by Belfast City Council. As a ladies shoes designer I take great pride in grading my work by the women who wear my shoes.
Therefore I was deeply honoured when I was requested on behalf of the Irish government to be the sole representative of the creative talent in Ireland, the shoes I designed especially for Michelle Obama, were presented to her by the Northern Ireland Assembly for this occasion.
In 2015 an Italian shoemaking artisan whom I had been conducting business with for six years, approached me with a business proposition to become Creative Director in creating a luxury designer shoes collection which was made in the exquisite shoemaking region of Italy.
I have a strong sense that this year has been transformational for many of us. I feel there is a real sense of what no longer serves us is leaving us. For this reason I feel that now the time is right for me to create my own brand and designer shoe company Anita Flavina made for ‘Women of Passion, Power and Substance’. This venture is perfect to represent the quality of my design philosophy and enabling me to present my designer shoes collections in our righteous place among the crème dell a crème of shoe heaven.
At long last after many years of hard work and determination I am gratified to be in a position to enable women of passion, power and substance to reap the rewards of what they installed in me, during a path of identifying my true potential, by for filling the desire of every woman to embrace her empowerment and elegance by stepping out in my designs.