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Chinese Silk Dragons – So 90s

My First Love

The first time I fell in love with shoes was when I was in my junior year of high school. The memory is obvious in my mind. When you asked me if I could tell you about this, the answer was Yes, immediately.

I guess I would have been about 16 or 17. And I was in a Nordstrom’s shoe department with my mom just looking around. I spied a pair of platform, peep-toe shoes, reminiscent of a 1940s style. And they were so 90s. (This would have been around 1997 1998.) They were covered with black, “Chinese silk”embroidered with golden dragons. So, so, so, so 90s. I fell hard for them. I saw them across the room and said, “You must be mine. I will have you. My feet need these.”

So I said to my mom, “I want those for junior prom. I don’t want a dress. I’ll wear a dress I have. I don’t want anything else. I don’t need anything else. All I want is those shoes.” Mind you, I had no date for the junior prom. I was just going with my friends, but it was an excuse to buy those shoes. My parents went for it. So that was the first pair of shoes that I lusted after.


Remember when Beyonce’s Lemonade came out? In the video for “Sorry”, she’s smashing the cars in that beautiful yellow dress with fabulous Yves St. Laurent (I think) that are a more contemporary redo of my 90 shoes. When I saw her wearing them I said, “Oh my god, I love those shoes.”  

I still have them and I cannot fit my feet in them. They are the first pair that began my collection. They were the start of a life-long obsession.

Victoria Pass is an expert in Visual Culture at MICA. She shares a love of Elsa Schiaparelli and collects John Fluevog with me.

Want to hear more of our conversation? Listen to our full discussion on my KindredSoles podcast.

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Preparing a New Product Launch

This week on RoxAnneLava’s Monday Mission we discussed the a new product I am adding to inventory and how to package, price and promote it. I’ve been struggling with a way to really show my shoes online and I came up with a virtual “Show Us Your Shoes” Pedi Party. Guests receive a curated Pedi Party pack including Foot Soak, Foot Scrub, nail polish, a cocktail recipe, sweet treats, a BadAss & Beautiful button, along with themed party swag. Up to 10 people meet me online where I’ll take on a tour of all the wonderful possibilities available when you order a pair of RoxAnneLava made to order customized mules.

The Pedi pack will be available as a stand alone to gift or keep. Everyone needs a little self-care AND Spring is just around the corner so it’s time to get those feet ready for a grand reveal.

I like to keep it personal, special and a little cheeky using hand written touches; ribbon and tissue; and BadAss & Beautiful buttons. AND of course I like to keep it on Brand.

Watch the epsiode here. As always, I’ve been evolving the product this week. Check IG: for an update.

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Pattern Making – This week’s Monday Mission

toe trouble bubbles

This week I returned to my luxury slipper prototype and discussed the challenges I had while making them. I had toe trouble!

It was a challenge to get my leather lasted (that is what we call stretching the leather over the last in shoe speak) properly around the toe. One reason – I was not using an upper pattern for the particular last, so the upper pattern piece did not fit properly.

I showed how when using felted knit fabric, the perfect pattern was not as crucial as when using leather.

Then I showed you how to make a pattern. And finally explained how to grade (this is what we call creating each size variation in shoe speak) that pattern. The last I am work on is a 7 1/2. That pattern will need to be graded to accomodate any other size and the last will need to modified to accommodate any other size.

Watch the process. And do join me for next week’s Monday Mission. You never know what you’ll see.
-until next time XOA

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Ideas & Inspiration

In today’s RoxAnneLava Monday Mission we discussed ideas & inspiration. I took the viewers through my process – my idea book, inspiration exercises to help you move past maker block or examine ideas from a variety of perspectives and creating an IRL working design board…

OR an online design board using one of my favorite tools, padlet.

See my Padlet Art Deco Shoe Inspiration Board here:

Watch the episode here and join me next Monday for the next RoxAnneLava Monday Mission.

–Till next week
Home is where my shoes are