Guyanese and the wider public will soon have the option of wearing fashionable local print inspired shoes as one designer prepares to launch her shoe line in the coming months.
The designer is Nadia Thomas-Winter, one of the two women behind the designer brand, ‘Duo Collection.’
In a recent interview with The Scene, the Guyanese born designer/artist who was first featured along with her niece Natalya Thomas for their brand in 2015, shared some insight on her latest project – ‘The United and Free Collection 2016’ shoe line.
“I have been working on numerous projects since then. I have been developing my prints, enhancing and developing my fashion line, bags and of course my shoe line. I have been quite busy, staying innovative and learning about the industry via workshops and courses; every day I try to learn something new,” she told The Scene in a recent conversation.
Winter, who has been living in the British Virgin Islands for a number of years now, stated that her decision to create her own shoe line stemmed from her love for shoes. As the ideas began to flow, Winter said, she started sketching, while playing around with prints she had created.
And as to how the idea grew in her mind after it took root, Winter explained: “It’s looking at a blank canvas on the wall, that fresh white surface, then your vision brings that canvas to light with colours and patterns. In your mind’s eye it all starts to take shape, the colours, the style; in some cases, you envision different individuals wearing the designs. It’s a very surreal and personal process for me.
“After the creative process takes shape on paper and my thoughts and ideas are downloaded I bring the entire process to life using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. This allows me to see what the design would look like before the sample is made. My sketches then go to the factory and out come beautiful pieces of art; it is very exhilarating,” she added
When asked about the inspiration for this specific collection, Winter credited Guyana’s rich history and culture, thus she thought it best to embrace and showcase same through her shoe collection.
“It is my goal to shine the spotlight on the symbolic architecture and the natural beauty of Guyana, so I incorporated these truly amazing elements into my design. As you would agree, Guyanese have a lot to be proud of. The true challenge is creating and embracing a culture we are truly proud of no matter where life takes us,” Winter shared.
Of the prints created thus far, is one that she says is symbolic of the St George’s Cathedral which speaks of Guyana’s rich architectural heritage while there is another that has been designed in tribute to the courageous enslaved African slave Cuffy, who led the 1763 slave rebellion.
Asked about her material of choice for creating these shoes, Winter said she uses leather as opposed to the synthetic PU material since leather has a longer life span.
For Winter it is all about designing for women and ensuring that Guyanese/Caribbean culture is the focus since she believes that fashion has no limits and such it is an open canvas.
That being said, Winter envisions the shoes line becoming a household name in Guyana and the Caribbean in the years to come.
For those interested, Winter announced that the shoe line will be available in selective stores in Guyana and online. Cost per pair will range from US$69 – US$79.