Fashion is often considered to be vacuous, to be all about appearance with very little substance behind it. But sometimes you come across a brand that is aiming to change lives too. Shoes by Shaherazad is doing just that, one step at a time. The ethos of the brand, the brainchild of Shaherazad Umbreen, is all about empowering women through fashion, both by creating beautiful and elegant heels that can be worn for 18 hours as women work and frankly kick ass without having to sacrifice their femininity and style, but the brand also seeks to empower women and girls living in poverty through the ‘Solidarity by Shaherazad’ programme.
The idea behind ‘The Eighteen Hour Heel’ is fantastic, a godsend to anyone who has to stand on their feet for long periods of time, and yet still loves the look and feel of wearing heels. Shaharazad has looked at the elegance and grace of flamingos, able to balance on one leg for long periods of time, and has created a shoe which distributes the body weight so that the shoes are comfortable and wearable for much longer periods of time than the average shoe. Another design feature that makes them wearable for 18 hours is that they can be transformed from an elegant, no-nonsense court shoe for day wear, to a beautifully embellished evening shoe through the addition of ‘slip on shoellery’. All this, and they are British made too.
But I think the really exciting part of purchasing a pair of heels from Shoes by Shaherazad is the philanthropic element, knowing that your shoes are actually making a difference to the life of women and girls around the world. The ‘Solidarity by Shaherazad’ programme, working in collaboration with Global Giving, directly funds projects that provide sustainable futures for girls, through work and education. Currently women have been empowered in countries such as Kenya, Peru, Pakistan and Palestine. As Shaherazad explains:- “These are heels which have the power to do good and make many women and girls happy.”
Beautiful shoes with a conscience. This can only be a brilliant idea.