THE DESIGNS MADE FOR MESTRAE WOMEN: Regular shoes vs. Interchangeable Heels


The design experience began with a journey catering to Mestrae Interchangeable Heels; for the professional women, women on the go, women with a million tasks and things to do in a day. What type of shoes would they wear? The silhouette, material, pattern-cutting was enthralling in a way that there were so many new areas and techniques to explore!

There was a catch to it. High heels, with removable heels, would mean that the shoe would have to perform as a pair of high heels, as well as a pair of flats. And by sight and construction, heels and flats are two opposite type of shoes hence there were there were rules that needed to be abided by.

The heart-breaking moment


For one, a full pump was out of the question. Why? When the shoes sink to the ground to create a pair of flats, the heaviest stretch comes from the mid-section. Changing the heels height from 3.5 inch to flats would mean the pull of material will eventually give in to wear and tear double time –the kind of quality we cannot advocate. We could have proceeded on with the full pumps, but the height will be limited to a 2 inch stretch, and would not be able to perform as a pair of flats.


The saving grace: 

The classy solution alternative was a Dorsay Pump or a ‘Non-full Pump’ The space between the toe & the ankle eases on the flexibility and that was needed in order for our from-heels-to-flats shoes to come alive. Can there be full pumps in the future? We are always open to finding and researching new possibilities, and we surely do hope so! 



Getting Creative

Design-wise, some wore decent round closed toes, and some statement-making, sexy, pointy toes. As a designer, this caught my eye. A vast variety of trends were apparent especially the latest to flood the market; extremely skinny straps across the toes and ankles; clearly this trend not only catered to the younger millennial working women but also the mid-thirties to mid-forties!

With the design limitation, challenge was on. The first thing was to study the pattern of the women & the shoes they wear. An entire day was spent looking at the ladies, the professional working women in Pavilion. While a number of women clearly preferred sensible comfy ballet flats, a striking majority turned up in heels. Short heels, high heels, crazy high heels… you name it.








What the books said

One step that could not be skipped was to look at design trends. What designs and colours would suit the upcoming Spring & Summer trends? What colours clashed with the immediate Autumn & Winter trends right after? There are many ways to look into it. Several specialised forecasts are available for designers, studying trends, colour, and even right down to the design & silhouette forecasts.A striking factor were the lace-up sneaker trend. The question would be on how to utilize this trend and make it work on shoes for professional working women… but that would be another story for another time!


Everyday women

The observation continued... Would there ever be ‘the perfect design’ for ‘the perfect woman’? From the gladiators they were worn on Casual Fridays at the office, the court shoes they wore to early Monday meetings. The comfortable ballet flats they wore on grocery runs. The strappy sandals they wear out dancing with their girlfriends. The sexy, pointy pumps she wears on date night, the easy-going slide-on’s she wears out while with her kids.

We didn’t have to define a real woman. She wore what she wanted and looked amazing in it. She defined herself!

And there, our Maya, Kira, Cassidy, Kaley, Darcy, Katelyn, Miss Hepburn, Agnes, Scarlett, Kelsi, Liza & Amal came to life. Each shoe representing a beautiful, strong woman, unique in her own way. They all tell a story, but at the end of the day, you get to create your own ending – a happy one, with Mestrae!

Agnes Design Sketch & the real shoe

Katelyn Design Sketch & the real shoe

Miss Hepburn Design Sketches & the real shoe


PS: No matter how you pictured yourself in Mestrae’s shoes, they come in both heels and flats, and as far as I can tell, two shoes in one is a bargain that no woman can deny! Happy Chinese New Year & be back in a few weeks for the next Design Series!


This article was written by Stephanie Richard, Fashion Designer of Mestrae’s In-House Fashion Design. Stephanie started off her career with Mestrae while juggling with her college degree majoring in Fashion & Marketing.


{Both shoes depicting a 'Full Pump & Non-full Pump' were images taken from one of Christian Louboutin's gorgeous shoe collections from his online store}

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