Chaussures! Shoes? Sure!
For four days in January, I had the opportunity of a lifetime, being able to work with the Sophia Webster team for their first Paris showroom for this year. Having had no prior experience in showroom, I had an amazing time helping to set up the showroom, and it was a great learning experience for future opportunities. The showroom was private and entry was only permitted on appointment basis, which I have learned is a common thing. Photos and videos were also not permitted to posted onto social media.
Now I'm a girl who absolutely LOVES Sophia Webster designs, so my excitement was extreme upon being selected for this internship. Myself and a couple other Bajan fashion lovers and business owners such as Kimberley Angoy (Suga Apple Swim) and Melanie Thorpe (Styled By Melanie Renee) share that love for Sophia Webster designs, and I can totally understand why. These shoes are an expression of our personalities. Fun and full of colour. Lucky for us, in Barbados, one special boutique; Gatsby , sells Sophia Webster shoes, so we would only have to save up for that BBD $1400 price tag per pair. I'm also happy to tell my fellow Barbadians that the Sophia Webster team has heard about our "pays incroyablement beau" (amazingly beautiful country): and is a yearly winter vacation choice for one team member (big ups to Katie!), before meeting me!
Fashion business is no joke, and the women of Sophia Webster working at the showroom were as busy, focused and dedicated to doing their job as a surgeon operating on a patient. Each brand and business is the fashion industry is like a well oiled machine in which there are many components which contribute to its functioning. No matter how small the task, each person (even the intern such as myself), played an important role in the smooth running of this showroom. Liz Ward, the wholesale director along with her wholesale assistants Katie and Danielle, and the administrator Federica worked day in and out, more than 13 hours these four days. Ensuring that everything was going according to plan, that clients were welcome, explaining the inspiration behind each shoe, and asking questions based on the market demand and trends in different regions of the world, this is just simply a short summary of the extensive list of responsibilities which they had. These women are hard working business women in every sense of the word, and as the fashion industry; like many other industries...does not sleep and knows no time, and apparently neither do they!
The showroom came together quite quickly. It was spacious and very organised, had a nice ambiance and even a nice playlist and candy on the tables for the clients! The brand is know for it's fun, cheerful, and girly colours, prints and designs, and the showroom set up displayed just that.
All of the shoes on display were quirky and attention grabbing, some edgy, some sexy, but all statement makers. One might even say some of these shoes are "too fun" to wear in the business setting, and some of the shoes the SW team sells may not necessarily be considered fit for a sophisticated woman. However, Sophia Webster doesn't completely ignore that sophisticated women can also have a fun side which can be expressed through their footwear. Most of her shoes have wings, like the 2 pairs of BiBi Butterflies (flats) I was blessed and obsessed with to wear for the duration of the showroom.
A little tip for the BiBi flats: go one size and a half up and make sure you have blister gels for breaking them in! They are also a little killer for the toes because of the pointy tip, so it's best to wear the BiBis for at least 2-3 hours maximum!
Also the Evangeline heels and Chiara heels (pronounced as KIARA): of which the AW 17 pair are my ABSOLUTE favourite (I will definitely be one of the first to get a pair, even with the hefty price tag).
That being said, even with her winged heel shoes, she has shoes which quietly scream that a woman is fun and quirky, in the form of her Coco Flamingo heels, which, by the looks of them weren't made for 8 hours of standing and walking around in.
Nonetheless, the everyday impressive Liz wore them without even a wince on her face to signal any pain. But as I said, they LOOK painful.. it didn't mean that they were.
Overall, my whole experience at the showroom was a very good one, where I got to do observational learning into a possible future career in fashion, meet new people, and build career bridges. My guess is, that no matter what my "final" career decision is in the future, it probably won't be my final destination, because you never know where a career in fashion (an industry I love) could carry you.
Until next time! xx
The Chic Addict