lisa kay designer sole bliss

Designer Spotlight: Lisa Kay Created Sole Bliss Shoes for Bunions

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Sole Bliss– A Blessing for Over-40 Feet and Bunions, by Thea Wood

Remember 15 years ago when a 4-inch pump was your “all day” shoe?  Me neither. And forget about it if you have a bunion or two.  It seems with the prevalence of towering heights and narrow toe boxes, women feel they have to live by the old adage “Beauty is Pain” in order to rock a pair of badass shoes.

We couldn’t have been more excited to hear that shoe designer Lisa Kay (of Lisa Kay London) heard women’s cries of despair and launched a new brand called Sole Bliss. She’s taking the pain out of shoes while keeping the cool factor– just ask actresses like Ellen Miren and Amanda Redman who are both fans. The Lisa Kay London brand brought in £2million in 2016, and Lisa has similar aspirations for Sole Bliss.  Of course, we couldn’t wait to chat with Lisa about the new collection and how she got where she is today.

The great news?  Use the promo code “shespark10” on the “MyBasket” page and you’ll receive 10% off your purchase!  Browse the collection here.
What is your age and where you live? (Something tells me it’s London!)

Lisa: I’m 53 years old and yes, I’ve always lived in London! I live with my husband Roger and Tibetan Terrier dog, Samson. My two grown-up sons have moved out, but we all see each other as regularly as we can.


Where did you grow up and what how did you view footwear as an adolescent versus how you view it now?

As an adolescent, footwear was always a big part of my fashion fix! The higher the heels, the more attractive they were to me. And I was never afraid to experiment with colour and style.

Nowadays, footwear is obviously an incredibly big part of my everyday life! I appreciate not only the fashion and styling element, but also the impact that comfortable (and uncomfortable) footwear can have on a person’s life.

SHOP THE HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE — OVER 40 STYLISH GIFTS AVAILABLE!

Why did you leave accounting to start a fashion label?

I worked in accountancy for 5 years, but always had a passion for fashion as well as an interest in business. I knew my career would be in the fashion industry eventually!

Your company started in 1982 and originally focused on bespoke belt designs. Why did you get started in that niche and what happened that inspired you to move to women’s footwear in 1999?

In 1982, there was a huge trend for all things fluorescent and Roger and I decided to make up some colourful belts to sell at market stalls in London. We were young and this profitable small business soon progressed to include leather belts, particularly studded and embellished ones. I started an accountancy job and used my holidays to travel to Italy, buying Italian buckles and components. We were handcrafting the belts in England and selling to many of the largest department stores in the UK (Selfridges, John Lewis etc).  They loved us because we were providing them with high fashion, quality belts at great prices and were able to offer a really quick service.

After belts came handbags and we soon moved our business and bought our own handbag factory in Shoreditch, London, manufacturing amongst other things, matching bags for the shoe trade. Our business allowed me to learn a lot about shoe-making, and in 1999 we launched our first Lisa Kay London shoe collection!

After years of wearing high heels, many women over 40 experience the dreaded bunion.  I don’t have bunions but am afraid they are an inevitability. Are my fears justified?  Are modern shoes causing or worsening the problem? How do your shoes address the issues?

Scientific research over recent years has shown that bunions are generally hereditary. Not all high-heel shoe wearers will form bunions, so it’s not inevitable that you’ll get them! Certainly it doesn’t help/may exacerbate any problems if your feet are constantly squeezed into ill-fitting, incredibly tight footwear. But there’s certainly hope, depending on the fit of the shoes you are wearing.

Our Sole Bliss shoes are elegant heels designed to accommodate and comfort bunions. Crucially, they provide depth and width at the front of the shoe whilst still providing a perfect fit at the back of the heel. All the shoes contain our patent-pending Juanet Technology featuring a ‘Bunion Bed’ – an invisible stretch panel to comfort and support the bunion area; three distinct underfoot layers of memory foam cushion the foot, contour around it and for shock absorbency, and a memory foam pad to prevent the foot from pronating (which can exacerbate bunions).

We make all our Sole Bliss shoes in half sizes to ensure a really good fit and they are luxuriously lined in super-soft pale pink leather lining and made from the finest suedes, leathers and Italian fabrics

Sole Bliss has a separate web site than Lisa Kay Shoes.  What is the difference?

The Lisa Kay London brand works on a B2B model, selling to shoe and fashion retailers across the UK, Ireland, and Europe. We design and manufacture two main collections each year (Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter), and our website is there to showcase the collections and promote business for these wholesale customers. Our collections are big and not every stockist orders each and every style, so the website allows customers to see the whole range and the variety of our collections.

Sole Bliss is a different entity, working on a B2C model, selling directly to the customer. It’s an e-commerce website, so rather than simply showcasing a collection, we are selling that range direct to the public. We ship all over the world and use UPS as our delivery service so delivery is incredibly fast, wherever you are. We update the Sole Bliss collection more frequently than we do the Lisa Kay range, reacting quickly to customer demand. There is more content on the Sole Bliss website and we make it as user-friendly as possible.

Which shoe style is flying off the shelf right now?

Our top style of the moment – and my personal favourite – is the “Pandora” court shoe. It’s a fabulous heel that’s very on-trend with the high-cut topline and pointed shape. It also happens to be the favourite of our celebrity clients such as film star Helen Mirren, UK TV star Amanda Redman and TV celebrity Dr. Dawn Harper.

Use the promo code “shespark10” on the “MyBasket” page and you’ll receive 10% off your purchase!  Browse the collection here.

sole bliss shoes for bunions

 

Which shoe style is your favorite for 2018?

For 2018, I’m loving the block heel! Clean, fresh lines and the metallic palette make our silver “Alessia” shoe a perfect choice for the new season. You can combine it with slacks for the daytime, or dress it up in the evening, it’s an easy piece for every wardrobe!

alessia by sole bliss

What shoe trends do you see women loving in the new year?

Leather stacked heels with almond-shaped toes and fabulous sling-backed flatties are both shoe trends which I see women loving for the new year, and I’m featuring both of these in our new Spring Collection.

We started Sole Bliss by trying to fill a gap in the market: heels for women with bunions, but now that we’ve been established for nearly a year and, in constant contact with our customers, we are able to incorporate what they are looking for into our collections. We are very excited to develop lots of new styles, all using our patent pending shoe technology!

Use the promo code “shespark10” on the “MyBasket” page and you’ll receive 10% off your purchase!  Browse the collection here.

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One comment on “Designer Spotlight: Lisa Kay Created Sole Bliss Shoes for Bunions

  1. I have an extremely sore right foot. Any shoes are so bad i am limping after 10 mins it seems to be at the ball of the foot where the toes meet. Would these shoes help. Also is the anywhere in northern ireland to buy them. Thank you

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