Malone Souliers gives contemporary updates to classic shapes; their designs are non-conventional, but remain wearable, which explains the brand’s widespread popularity. Famously well-heeled women such as Kylie Jenner, Blake Lively and Solange Knowles have been photographed wearing the brand’s shoes. Prestige talks to founders Mary Alice Malone and Roy Luwolt about the brand's origins and the ability of heels to empower women.
Why did you decide to go into the shoe business?
Because of a need in the market led by legacy brands decades older than Malone Souliers, and my ability to solve that need for the modern woman of contemporary yet luxury taste.
Describe your brand in three words
Refined, self-aware, consistent.
Seeing as quality and comfort are two dimensions that your brand prides itself in, how do you select which materials to use?
The design team works very closely with the production team to conduct extensive custom research every season to understand the innovative options most suited to the Malone Souliers customer. Anything less than that, of the highest echelon and beauty, does not make it to the floor.
Which designers inspire you most?
Alaia, Yohji Yamamoto and Roksanda, designers whose aesthetics embody the ethos of Malone Souliers.
What differentiates Malone Souliers the most from other shoe labels?
Our ability to stay fresh and uncompromised, not least of all because we are the only wholly independently owned international luxury footwear label.
What roles have celebrities played in to your brand’s expansion?
We’ve certainly been rather fortunate to have extensive support from celebrities, which has been organic; though I would deem that no more a testament to the excellence of our product, as I would the worldwide support from our actual customers.
Why did you decide to establish headquarters in London? How did the city play a part to get your brand to where it is today?
That is entirely due to location advantages, from our Italian manufacturing to our Parisian store, all the way through the craftsmanship born of British legacy.
How do high heels empower women, in your opinion?
Suffice it to say that the sculpturing of a woman’s postural presentation, though largely due to her own self-confidence, is just as dependent on the very shoes she walks in; much the like the history of court shoes, heels have always been the boldest aspect of a woman’s dressing. It emphasizes the beauty of liberation.
How has your business and designs evolved since you started five seasons ago?
All together. Business plans are best made for optimization, and in listening to the consumer Malone Souliers has been constantly responsive to the market, hence our heavily resourced focus on research and development.
Where do you see Malone Souliers in five years from now?
That will be 2021, right? I guess like a child prodigy, just five years older.