I can’t say enough good things about shoes. The truth is – and I was told this at a very young age – that you can wear a suit that’s 25 years old, but you can’t do the same with shoes – and still look fashionable. An up-to-the-minute pair of snappy shoes will always update your outfit. I also went to Catholic school, where we wore uniforms and looked the same except for our shoes. I took them to be a symbol of your individual personality. (That’s when I discovered Bass Weejuns – the inimitable loafer that I still wear constantly).
Designer Elle AyoubZedah feels like I do about shoes and wanted to shake up the shoe business a little bit. So she started her own company in Toronto called Zvelle. ”I was tired of the way the media portrayed women,” AyoubZedah says in a phone interview. “That you’re supposed to look a certain way is rubbish.”
She told me that she wanted to marry style to affordable luxury – and that she has done exceptionally well. Zvelle offers beautiful leather shoes and bags in timeless styles that are made in Florence, Italy in limited quantities. “Everything is sourced there,” she says. “We have direct contact with every single supplier. We use the same leathers as the luxury houses and it’s the ‘crème de la crème.’”
Even so the shoes are only priced from about $350 to $500. Be sure to check out the $295 Rayna pump featuring an inverted heart on the vamp. She says that the inverted heart is a nod to her Persian background, in which said heart is the number five. “I incorporate this into a lot of designs,” she adds. Recently, Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland made history as the first woman Finance Minister to present a federal budget. This was truly an historic moment for women in Canada and around the world. It’s a Canadian tradition that the Minister of Finance purchases a new pair of shoes to wear when presenting the budget. Its origins are unknown and a little mysterious. But this year Freeland did it in her Zvelle Rayna pumps.
Other footwear you should check out are the Zaha strappy high-heeled sandals in gold metallic and the Rayna ballet sneaker in pink metallic. This is footwear that turns heads.
Zvelle also carries high-end handbags such as the pink Forough tote bag ($695), which, like the shoes, is made with Old World craftsmanship. I know it screams my name – it’s pink, my favorite color, and simply elegant. Says AyoubZedah: “Our customers are all accomplished women doing incredible things in the world.” Dear Reader – this probably means you.
For more, visit zvelle.com and follow me on Instagram at @DebbiKickham. – Debbi K. Kickham.