honest by. MAISON DES TALONS
MAISON DES TALONS
Honest by is proud to introduce Maison des Talons, debuting online August 15th 2012. A new brand with an Honest take on shoe design. Launched in 2011 by designer Susanne Villeger and her business partner Bettina Bieler. Maison des Talons is a brand that is swiftly becoming one of the most innovative new labels in the shoe industry.
Susanne studied fashion design at the Istituto Marangoni in Milano, where she acquired a master's degree in shoes and accessories design, graduating with first class honours. Armed with formal training, Susanne then went on to gain practical experience along side masters like Alessandro Dell' Acqua, Bruno Pieters and Antonio Berardi, honing her design skills by designing shoes for several international luxury fashion brands like Donna Karen, Alessandro dell'Acqua, Bikkembergs and Hugo Boss in New York, Milan and Switzerland. After graduating from the University of Zurich with a master in communications and business administration, Bettina advanced her business knowledge, working for luxury brands in an international environment for almost a decade.
Read more about Maison des Talons here.
HONEST BY IS PROUD TO INTRODUCE MAISON DES TALONS, THE MOST RECENT COLLABORATION WHICH DEBUTED ONLINE AUGUST 15TH 2012. A NEW BRAND WITH AN HONEST TAKE ON SHOE DESIGN. LAUNCHED IN 2011 BY DESIGNER SUSANNE VILLIGER AND HER BUSINESS PARTNER BETTINA BIELER, MAISON DES TALONS IS A BRAND THAT IS SWIFTLY BECOMING ONE OF THE MOST INNOVATIVE NEW LABELS IN THE SHOE INDUSTRY. WE MET UP WITH SUSANNE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HER HONEST BY MAISON DES TALONS COLLECTION AND HER OPINIONS ON THE FASHION INDUSTRY.
Written by Bruno Pieters
BP: WE WORKED TOGETHER AT HUGO BY HUGO BOSS ON THE SHOE COLLECTION. I REMEMBER YOU ALWAYS HAD GREAT IDEAS, I LOVED WORKING WITH YOU! HOW HAVE YOU BEEN AND WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING SINCE THEN?
SV: Thank you! That’s lovely to hear. I can only return the compliment. Your approach to design and fashion has always inspired me. I am very delighted that you believe in MAISON DES TALONS and we are proud to be part in this very inspiring project. After leaving Hugo Boss, I moved back to Switzerland where I started to work on the launch of MAISON DES TALONS together with my business partner Bettina. After several months of preparation, we officially launched the brand in November 2010.
BP: THE HONEST BY MAISON DES TALONS COLLECTION HAS FINALLY ARRIVED AND WE ARE SO HAPPY WITH THE RESULT! WHAT COLOURS DID YOU CHOOSE FOR THIS COLLABORATION, AND WHY?
SV: Mysterious Black because of its timeless elegance, Royal Blue to add a sophisticated, aristocratic touch with an edgy twist and Scarlet Blush because red shoes belong in every women’s closet.
BP: WHAT MATERIALS DID YOU USE?
SV: Synthetic leather combined with synthetic breathable lining.
BP: IS THIS THE FIRST TIME YOU HAVE MADE AN ENTIRELY VEGAN SHOE?
SV: Yes indeed! And it was not only a first for me, but also for our factory, so it was a new challenge and experience. Traditionally a shoe is made out of leather because it is a flexible and very strong, long lasting material, ideal for all weather conditions. For this collaboration we had to rethink our usual approach and had to source for vegan alternatives that don’t fall short of the characteristics of leather in any ways. It was a difficult but very interesting task and we are very happy with the outcome.
BP: WHICH DESIGN IN THE HONEST BY MAISON DES TALONS COLLECTION IS YOUR FAVOURITE ?
SV: It’s like with children, I love them all. For sure the sandal on our signature platform construction is the most outstanding one! It combines our signature features of clean, geometrical lines and excels through the avant-garde platform.
BP: A WONDERFUL ASPECT OF YOUR SHOE DESIGNS IS THEIR COMFORT, SOMETHING HARD TO FIND WITH DESIGNER SHOES. IS COMFORT SOMETHING THAT YOU ARE PARTICULARLY CONSCIOUS OF WHEN YOU DESIGN?
SV: We are two girls behind the brand so we know what it means to wear high heels and nice shoes all day long. We try to do our best, working together with professional people in the factories to fit our shoes to be as comfortable as possible without losing the particular aesthetics of MAISON DES TALONS.
BP: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION WAS MADE IN ITALY. IS THIS IMPORTANT TO YOU?
SV: Yes, absolutely! At MAISON DES TALONS we are driven by admiration for traditional craftsmanship and highest quality, which we found only in Italy. The country has a very long tradition of shoe making and therefore a lot of skilled craftsmen and artisans, not just in assembling the shoe but also in producing all the necessary components and materials for the shoe making process. Of course nowadays it has become quite expensive to produce in Italy compared to other countries but I like the fact that we can get all the components from places nearby and at a very high quality. Also most factories are still run by families and the working conditions for the employees correspond to European standards.
BP: WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE FASHION INDUSTRY TODAY?
SV: It’s a crazy but very fascinating cycle. Stores receive new arrivals all the time, items going in style, going out of style, people running after trends, regular pricing for a short time, a few weeks later discounted like a piece of trash and almost thrown at you…Fashion is not exclusive any more. Due to cheap production abroad it has become affordable for the masses, sadly to the expense of ethics. Unfortunately in a lot of those factories workers and children are suffering scandalous working conditions. As long as it is cheap, anything is allowed!
BP: WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT FASHION?
SV: It’s unpredictable. Anything is possible!
BP: IS HAVING YOUR OWN BRAND EVERYTHING YOU THOUGHT IT WOULD BE?
SV: Yes. Shoes are my passion, designing is my life, MAISON DES TALONS is my dream. Bettina and I are both very happy with what we have achieved so far. To build a Maison is a tough, ongoing and never ending process. Everyday we are learning and coping with new challenges but it is very rewarding and a very precious adventure.
BP: WHAT DO YOU LOVE TO DO MOST?
SV: Being creative and finding new ways to inspire people.
BP: WHAT IS YOUR DREAM?
SV: MAISON DES TALONS.
BP: WHAT KIND OF WOMAN DO YOU HAVE IN MIND WHEN YOU DESIGN YOUR SHOES?
SV: Very briefly said, a woman who can identify herself with the world of MAISON DES TALONS and shares our passion for unique and elaborated designs, craftsmanship, and beautiful things. Our shoes are made for the woman who loves to express her style and creative edge and this in a fashion-forward, luxurious way.
BP: MANY CELEBRITIES HAVE WORN YOUR DESIGNS, DO YOU THINK DRESSING CELEBRITIES IS STILL IMPORTANT TODAY?
SV: Yes. For a young and upcoming brand it is important since you don’t only get exposure, but also credibility.
BP: I WOULD LIKE TO ASK YOU SOME MORE PERSONAL QUESTIONS NOW, BECAUSE I BELIEVE WE CAN LEARN SO MUCH FROM EACH OTHER WHEN WE SHARE OUR THOUGHTS. MY FIRST QUESTION IS, WHAT IS LOVE TO YOU?
SV: It’s the most precious thing you can find in life.
BP: WHAT CAN MAKE A RELATIONSHIP LAST FOR A WHOLE LIFE TIME, IN YOUR OPINION?
SV: Love, loyalty, respect and little surprises.
BP: HOW WOULD YOU BEST DESCRIBE YOURSELF?
SV: I’m a perfectionist who pays a lot of attention to small details but I also try to live life to the fullest in an easy going way.
BP: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE?
SV: Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world – Marilyn Monroe
BP: WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY TODAY?
SV: Follow your heart and live your dream!
BP: WHAT IS HAPPINESS TO YOU?
SV: Living a life without restriction.
BP: WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT LIFE SO FAR?
SV: Believe in your dreams and never give up!
BP: WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIFE?
SV: The endless possibilities.
BP: HOW GREEN ARE YOU?
SV: Not a deep dark forest shade but a fresh intense jungle green.
BP: THANK YOU!