Sole Talk

It is often the creative passion that fuels an artist’s drive to keep chiselling out his or her success, in spite of all odds. After all, it is the ‘never-say-die’ attitude is what separates the doers from the rest, does it not? In the ever-changing world of fashion, one has to be constantly in the picture and make all the right noises as far as their patrons are concerned. It is the hallmark of a successful brand that it is always on trend and among the many such brands, who are trying to carve out a special niche for themselves, is the luxury shoe brand ‘Malone Souliers’ by Mary Alice Malone, its co-founder and creative director along with Roy Luwolt, her business partner and managing director of the company. Together they have broadened the spectrum of the luxury footwear choices and in doing so, they seem to have struck the right chord with their elite clients. Since its launch in 2014, Malone Souliers has been bringing other brands to their heels, so to speak.

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No shortcuts to success
In a league of high-end shoe brands battling it out for the top spot, it’s no surprise that any new product entering the market must have that edge to survive and stand out effortlessly. Malone Souliers does that and makes no excuses about it. As Mary Alice explains, “Our brand was founded on the ethos of particularity; from meticulous development of shape, size and colour to the millimeter. A finished luxury good, generally speaking, insists on every detail, visible and invisible. Simply said, we are addicted to doing good things the hard way.”

Inspirations and more
For Mary Alice, there have been a handful of women who seem to have played a key role in the making of her career as it has—her mother, Mary Alice Malone Sr., her heroine, Denise Morrison, CEO of Campbell’s Soup and her personal mentor and idol, Ruth Chapman. “Besides, there’s the other person I spend most of my adventure/life with: my business partner, Roy and it’s full of twists and turns,” she says. “I just adore them.”
While working on her designs, Mary Alice likes to navigate her way beyond the confines of inspiration in order to achieve the much anticipated outcome. “We love to design, starting with the three dimensional creation of the shoe and then onto two dimensional concepts of that shape.”
Picking colours for her collections is a crucial part of the brand identity on the whole. More or less, the colour factor is the soul of her creations. “I did study as a colourist and for us at Malone Souliers it certainly informs the shapes, lines and silhouettes. So you might say it’s simply indispensable,” she says.

Comfort & Celebrities
Malone Souliers shoes are known for their comfort factor. So, it really is of huge importance for Mary Alice to capitalise on when she quips, “We’re often told that our heels tend to be the most comfortable one might find around. This is the best testament to our insistence on architectural shoemaking practice, which, despite heels, demand comfort as a direct result of specificity. After all, luxury is anything but discomfort.”
That’s why some of Malone Souliers’ signature lines, especially the likes of Savannah, Dawn, Maureen, Montana, Veronica and a handful more have remained on top, demonstrating a timeless consistency all the while. Seeing celebrities like Solange Knowles, Lupita Nyong’o, Jemima Kirke, Kim Kardashian and Blake Lively wear their brand makes Mary Alice and Roy feel proud of what they have accomplished. “We find it very humbling that they have so many attractive choices to choose from. With it comes another challenge that surely can’t be overlooked; they seem to perpetually demand more quickly than we can deliver. But we try our best to cater to their orders as and when possible,” the duo proclaims.

You can read more of the interview in our February print edition