I’m so excited to share my first interview with an amazing creative Australian living in London, England! Amy La is the founder of La Paire, a London based boutique shoe brand, which specialises in gorgeous handmade leather sandals. Originally from Sydney’s Inner West, Amy has lived in London for eight years now and is making her mark on the UK fashion scene with her fabulous flats. I caught up with Amy to hear more about her journey and of course the wonderful ‘Alex‘ shoe – obviously named after me, right?
So your search for the perfect leather sandal resulted in your own shoe brand! Did you always have an interest in design?
I’ve loved shoes for as long as I can remember but never thought that I would one day become a shoe designer. Creating things and drawing are something that I’ve always enjoyed and after struggling for a few years to find the perfect pair of leather sandals, moving into shoe design felt quite natural.
What have been the hardest and on the reverse side the most rewarding aspects of creating your own fashion business?
Creating and establishing a new brand in a highly competitive fashion and retail market is quite a challenge in itself. And running the business on my own involves a lot of multitasking, which can be difficult at times especially when I’m travelling abroad.
I feel incredibly lucky to be running my own business and creating a product that I’m passionate about. Knowing that I’ve created a product that women love as the same customers have been returning each season, and expanding into wholesaling where we’ve acquired several retail stockists have been the most rewarding aspects to date.
What is your favourite shoe of the new collection? Mine of course, is the ‘Alex!’
From the spring/summer collection, the Viola is my favourite as I love the scallop-detail and wrap-around ankle strap, and from autumn/winter it would have to be the Alex flats in rose gold. I just love the subtleness of the colour and they can be worn with most things.
What are the key differences you see between the style of women in London and in Australia?
Londoners are quite daring and are not afraid to experiment when it comes to fashion, while Australian women tend to follow trends from the UK and USA. But with technological advancements and the rise of fashion bloggers over the last few years, these elements have certainly helped change the way women dress in Australia.
What is next for Amy and for La Paire?
I do all the brand’s photography, which I really enjoy and would love to develop my photographic portfolio by taking on external projects. I’m actually photographing some gorgeous bags from a brand called Jaunt this week in Paris, so I’m quite excited about this first collaboration.
As for La Paire, we’ve got lots of things in the pipeline – we’re currently working on designs for AW/15, brainstorming ideas and themes for SS/16 and are preparing for our upcoming SS/15 press event. We’d love to do a video campaign as well so are just putting together ideas at the moment, it’s early days but still very exciting for us!