The brains behind Stratford Shoes, Mariam Rehman shares how she got inspired to start her own shoe line, how she established her brand and the designs she loves!
How and when did you become interested in shoes?
I have always been a shoe-lover. More than anything, I have always wanted a huge collection of shoes in my closet. I would start looking at people from their feet up, haha. Good shoes always attracted me and I would always want a pair for myself. Over the years, the local market got flooded with too much blingy stuff which I found hard to digest and comfort was also going out of the window. The international ones at that time always burned a hole in my pocket. Finally in 2012, it dawned on me that rather than drooling over others’ shoes, why not start a line of my own with comfortable, trendy, and affordable footwear for everyone.
Share a story with us about how you designed one of your favourite pairs?
My favourite pair has to be this piece that we did with the Eiffel tower on it. We were going to bring out a simple kolhapuri pair in a shocking pink colour and while choosing the materials, I stumbled across this Eiffel Tower shoe clip which fit perfectly on the strap. As funny as it may seem, we put it on there and it received a great response from customers. Everything about that shoe turned out to be perfect.
Is there any design that you are emotionally attached to and why?
Initially, when I started off a lot of people including the karighars would discourage me. They thought it was just a hobby that I am wasting money on. But it wasn’t; I had already done a short course in shoemaking so I knew exactly what I was jumping into. One of the designs that I made in my first collection had really chunky embellishments on it and everyone told me they looked gaudy and too typical and would not sell. But luckily for me, it was the most bought pair from my launch collection. The hardship and criticism I faced for it is exactly what makes me emotionally attached to it.
Tell us about your favourite shoes from your collection?
My favourite shoes are the simplest ones. They are what I wear every single day. Most of them are blue, by the way. They include Trinkets, Blue Press, Flutter and Arnie from our latest collection. They are the pieces truly made from the heart.
Is there anything on your radar that you want to make in the future?
Yes, there are tonnes of things on my radar. But the project on the very top is sadly a secret that I can’t spill at all. But it will be something definitely one of a kind which has never been done before. Other than that, we really want to bring out our formals now which would include heels and wedges and varieties other than flats.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ