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One of my most favorite things that I've heard recently is that Cinderella is proof that a fabulous pair of shoes can change your life.
Well, as of late, shoes have changed my life. Truthfully, some days it feels like they have taken over my life. But there is a good reason for this.
As some of you know, I recently launched my first collection of shoes in time for this holiday season. It sounds so much simpler than it has been. Earlier this year I met with some of the top manufacturers and brands in the footwear industry in Las Vegas. Knowing I wanted to design my own collection, I hosted a party at the Palms and met with the best and brightest -- the manufacturers of every major brand came out. I already felt I had a handle on what women want -- from heels to flats I pay attention to what women are wearing. But one of the things I learned from my father about business is that you have to be eager to learn all the time -- and at this event I was given some amazing insight into the logistics of entering the footwear industry.
Iconic brand Charles Jourdan then approached me to design a signature collection for them, and I was honored to accept their offer. Launched almost a hundred years ago, Charles Jourdan has always been known for its innovation in footwear, and the brand has been worn by everyone from Princess Diana to Heidi Klum. The design team and I went through my likes and dislikes, my closet and even my jewelry collection to pull inspiration for this line. Every clasp, buckle and even the underside of the arch of the shoe is important to me, and it was amazing to see my ideas come to life.
The event you saw on television was first and foremost designed to create awareness about the Step Up Women’s Network. It’s an organization that asks professional women to step in and empower underprivileged young women, guiding them as they go to school, go to college and enter the workforce -- a mission that is very important to me. The evening also seemed to be the perfect time to announce my new footwear line, which was entering the production phase at that time. Angel Champagne came in and supported our night and our cause, and after all of the hard work and worry that we put in, the evening turned out to be absolutely stunning.
I know a lot of people wondered where my footwear collection was that evening -- Lisa and Kyle in particular brought this up. At the time, the collection was not yet fully produced. We had just finished the design process, and were entering the first stages of production. It’s a long and lengthy process to create a beautiful line, and it’s vitally important to me that we do this just right. The pair you saw me wearing is the pièce de résistance of the collection. We worked really hard to have that particular shoe crafted for the show. With more than a thousand hand-placed Swarovski crystals on it and with my team and I unwilling to sacrifice on quality - that was a huge task in itself. We made only forty pairs of that shoe, and I’m madly in love with it. It’s truly my Cinderella shoe.
However, it was really disappointing to see Lisa’s snide remarks about all of it. It’s something that has not sat well with me. I get that people make sarcastic comments, or careless ones, but I really believe that you have to take care not to insult someone’s family or their business. Simply put? Not cool. You’d think women would encourage each other instead of getting catty. I was taken aback by what I consider to be her classless comments on my new business and how she approached the bachelorette party. I truly felt that she was envious of what we’ve accomplished and maybe what they say is true – jealousy is the root of all evil. Regardless, I’m so proud of what we accomplished this year in creating this brand, and I have so many plans for expansion next year.
Hope all of you will check out Step Up at SUWN.org and my footwear collection on my website. The full collection is just hitting stores like Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, Belk, and specialty boutiques nationwide this week, and it’s available through my website and Isaay.com.
I also hope all of you had a fabulous Thanksgiving!
P.S. Jackpot and Visco are campaigning to have Thanksgiving every day. They hover around Bernie now like he's the Pied Piper, waiting for more leftovers. If they ask you to sign their “T-Day To-Day!” petition, don’t do it!