Posted on July 29 2018
Petite women need shoes of course and we know that our petite customers are just as discerning when it comes to choice of shoes as they are with their clothes. So when an opportunity came up to offer our Jennifer Anne customers shoes from a well renowned British brand, I had no hesitation. Joseph Azagury shoes are elegant, feminine and very wearable - the perfect addition to our petite collection.
I was so pleased to have the chance to put my questions to Joseph Azagury the founder of this eponymous shoe label and I hope you enjoy, as I did, learning more about Joseph and the background to the brand.
Tell me about yourself and how you came to the idea of starting your own label
I was born in Casablanca but my family moved to the UK when I was four. I was brought up to be equally at home in 2 languages - French and English. I attended the Cordwainer College (now part of The London College of Fashion) to study Footwear Design and Technology with the idea of starting my own label one day.
I worked for other brands all over the world (USA, Brazil, Italy etc.) at the beginning of my career and when I felt I was ready, designed my first collection under my name.
How would you describe the Joseph Azagury brand?
Elegant, timeless and sophisticated.
Do you have a specific woman in mind when designing your shoes?
No, not really, I do not want to restrict myself. I believe my shoes can be worn by most women.
How do you start when designing a new shoe?
I start putting ideas down on paper and then develop the ones that I think have potential. I try not to look at other designers work. This helps keep my designs more original and personal.
Why is it do you think that women have such a fascination with shoes?
Shoes can change the posture of a woman, making her feel good within herself and confident. I believe shoes can make or break an outfit.
How important is comfort for you when designing?
Comfort is and should definitely be part of the design process even when creating a high heel sandal, it is very important.
What is your favourite Joseph Azagury shoe stocked by Jennifer Anne and why?
My favourite shoes stocked by Jennifer Anne is the Celia flat pump because this style is very chic and can be worn every day with any outfit,
It is very versatile and comfortable .
What advice would you have for someone who would like to establish their own shoe brand?
I would recommend to go to a fashion college first to learn the basics and then gain as much experience as possible until you feel confident enough to launch your own label. You need good business and marketing skills as well when you want to start your own business. It is hard work as you are putting yourself on the line with every collection but very rewarding when you see women wearing your shoes in the street.
Describe a typical working day
The first thing I do in the morning is check my emails. Then, I will go over the sales figures as I like to be kept informed of the retail side of the business. Then, I concentrate on the production and the made-to-order shoes. This service we offer is quite unique and is a fast growing part of our retail business ( customers can order shoes in different materials, colours and have some alterations if necessary).
I am always thinking of new designs, introducing new materials and colours.
What would your 21 year old self say if he could see you now?
Maybe, I would have started making my shoes earlier in the UK to enable me to have more control and flexibility.
Thank you Joseph, it was wonderful to learn more about you and your wonderful brand.