Jennifer Chamandi probably loves shoes more than you do. You probably wore your mother’s shoes when you were little. So did she. You probably watched the influential women in your life get ready for dinner, style their outfits, and some may even have formed an outfit around shoes. So did she. But did you ever study in heels? Chamandi’s passion for shoes extended so far as to need to revise for her exams from when she was very young while wearing her mother’s. “They made me feel confident,” she tells me.
It clearly worked to some extent, because studying in stilettos got her into the prestigious London School of Economics, where she studied Economics. After that, she spent seven years in banking, where (perhaps it was the heels) she thrived while loving every minute. What happened next? The only thing that made sense: Chamandi started her own brand.
What’s it like to start your own shoe brand?
If I thought working in banking was high pressure, I hadn’t yet experienced the world of fashion! Fashion has trained me to think and adapt to rapidly changing conditions and accept feedback as constructive criticism.
The stiletto is a fairly standard shape. What inspired you to create your signature needle stiletto?
The shoe market is extremely competitive and I wanted to have something that people would recognise, that would stand out. In French, a stiletto is called Talon Aiguille, literal French translation for “Needle Heel”, which inspired my signature “eye of the needle”. The strap that goes through the hole is like threading the needle. The strap is removable and the shoes are recognisable with or without the strap because of the subtle eye-of-the-needle detail. I worked very closely with an artisan atelier in Milan over the course of 18 months to develop a unique concept that would give my shoes a distinctive look, so if you look at the shoe, the gold-plated eye of the needle is delicately carved and inlaid into each heel.
Who is the Jennifer Chamandi woman?
My woman is strong but very feminine. She dresses for herself with absolute grace and a sense of effortless chic.
What to wear and where to go:
The Office – Classic Lorenzo pump in 85mm
“It can be worn at the office to feel elegant, but will still be comfortable. The 105mm version can be worn at a charity luncheon with incredibly inspiring women, to feel beautiful and chic.”
Dinner with friends – Vittorio sling back in 105mm
“Wear these to a casual chic dinner with friends, so you can still look dressy but in an effortless, chic way.”
Cocktail dinner / Red Carpet – Rolando sandals in 105mm
“Wear this to a cocktail dinner or down the red carpet, paired with a beautiful midi or maxi dress.”