BELLA #BehindTheScenes: Loredana Cannia Footwear

What does it take to launch a footwear label in America’s fashion capital?

We sat down with Loredana Cannia, a veteran shoe designer who is launching her eponymous collection in New York City next fall. Cannia talked to us about honing her fashion skills, business in the big city, and shoes, shoes, shoes. Listen in…

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You have worked in the fashion industry for a long time. Tell us about your background and training.

I graduated with a Master’s degree in Fashion Design from Central Saint Martins School, London, and worked for top brands in the fashion industry, including as head designer for B Brian Atwood and Stella Luna. My shoe designs for B Brian Atwood and Stella Luna were popular with many celebrities, like Solange Knowles, Gisele Bündchen, Emma Roberts, Katie Perry, Kristin Bell and Kerry Washington, among others.

After great success with other companies, what inspired you to launch your own label?

I realized I wanted to launch my label after 20 years of designing. It is very difficult to find shoes that satisfy both comfort and fashion. My goal is to make shoes that are beautiful, sexy, stylish and comfortable.

Tell us about your label’s concept.

My label is a truly fashion-forward contemporary shoe line, but [each design is] made with special soles, expressly designed for comfort, so the shoes can be worn from day-to-night. No need to change your high-heels to walk to a meeting, or to take off your shoes for painful blisters after standing or dancing at an event.

What makes your shoe soles so innovative?

I can’t tell you all of their secrets, but the soles mold to the shape of your foot and are designed to stimulate specific points to relieve stress. I think they will be revolutionary.

Why did you decide to launch your collection in New York City?

From my experience in New York, if you have passion, good ideas and talent, you can find success. The shoe industry is big all over, and I believe there is growing support for emerging designers in every industry, including the shoe industry. But the difference between New York and Italy [Cannia’s home country] is that in New York, if you’re talented, you will be successful. There is opportunity. In Italy, it is much harder. The Italian mentality is very different; it’s not as open to new talent.

What has been the most surprising thing about launching your own label?

People in my industry have been very helpful, especially other women. I am thankful to be able to follow my passion with continued support from around the world.

What has been the biggest challenge so far?

The biggest challenge so far is combining the modern concept of shape with comfort; it is very important to have strong technical skills [in the shoe’s construction] and to come out with something innovative.

What is your favorite design from your first collection?

Our first collection is small with five shoe designs; my favorite is for our bootie with an art-inspired kitten heel. I love it because it plays with the proportions of different shapes, and is a fusion of a few different design concepts.

Who is the Loredana Cannia woman?

My collection is targeted to the working woman who wants something special yet comfortable. She is modern, versatile, and ambitious. I love women. I don’t want them to be pretty dolls that can’t walk because they are in pain.

When will the collection formally launch?

The collection officially launches next fall; check our website for updates.

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