Laura Bolten, designer of Ziera Shoes. Image supplied.
A life-long love of shoes lead Laura Bolten to her dream job as a designer at Ziera Shoes, where she gets to come up with each season's collection of stylish footwear. Ziera's shoes are made for comfort and practicality but Laura also makes sure that she brings her design flair to the range, so that the shoes are modern yet classic with a fashion forward twist.
We caught up with Laura to find out more about her latest collection, what inspires her and what you would never catch her wearing!
Tell us about your latest collection?
The designer collection was initially conceptualised for the style conscious modern woman who needs shoes to wear all day. We really feel there are so many brands making great looking shoes, but that are not comfortable, nor supporting the biomechanics of the foot. Ziera are renowned for offering a wide range of footwear to fit many different feet including orthotics, but this collection was for women who do not necessarily require orthotic capable footwear, but that do require unparalleled underfoot comfort and perhaps need to adjust the fit of the shoe to be tailored to their specific foot needs. The Ziera Refine Comfort footbed and Flexi Fit System allow each of us to have improved fit for all foot types and therefore better biomechanics or gait. This collection is not about a specific heel or a boot or a flat, but about a offering a selection of really great looking footwear for women that put value on both style and having healthy feet.
What made you become a designer?
To be honest, I was always passionate about shoes, I had studied art when younger and wanted to combine the two together. It took me a while to find my path into shoes and when I told my family I wanted to make a career of designing shoes, my aunt told me that my grandma had been a secret shoe hoarder, that they had been surprised how many shoes she had hidden away, so perhaps the love of shoes and wanting to design them is hereditary?
What inspires you?
To tell you the truth its no one thing. I can visit an art gallery, research the latest catwalks using a trend site or the internet and magazines, visit a new town/city, talk to a customer, or sit in a café and watch people and what they are wearing pass by and feel inspired. I start with a concept, which usually arrives to me in a very subconscious way using all or a mixture of the above, which then unfolds to me during the creative process and it is a collaborative process.
Describe your personal style and how it influences your products and brand?
For me my personal style is about feeling comfortable in my own skin and not worrying about following the fashion trends too much, yet I still want to look good and feel great. I think this translates into my designs and aligns well with the Ziera brand, since Ziera’s foundations are built on the understanding that every woman is unique; every foot is different and aim to empower us women to feel our best all day everyday.
Laura's favourite Ziera Zara shoes.
What is your all-time favourite purchase?
Well it has to be shoes doesn’t it? I have a story for pretty much every set of shoes I own, and I own a lot of them. I collect shoes that I find interesting. Some of my current favourites are:
1. A pair of Terry De Havilland Margaux iconic platform wedges, I like how Terry managed to turn his business around after a difficult period in the 80s.
2. I have also rediscovered a pair of Prada low-tiered wedges that are stylish and comfortable, I also have the memory when I wear them that I had to almost take a mortgage to buy them.
3. My Adidas Boost runners that I live in when hiking in the mountains,
4. Most recently my Ziera Zara gold lace ups which are stylish and just so comfortable.
What wardrobe item should every woman invest in?
A variety of Ziera shoes: staples of a shoe wardrobe that every woman should have in her closet are a boot, a mid or high dress shoe, a flat, and of course a sneaker.
Do you have a style rule you always obey?
I guess Alexander McQueen said it in a nutshell… "It’s a new era – there are no rules. It’s all about the individual and personal style, wearing high-end, low-end, classic labels, and up-and-coming designers all together."
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I would have answered this question quite differently a few years ago, I think now the highlight of my career is working where I am, for the company I am, with a team of other like minded individuals. Why? Because I love the challenge of doing something that requires new thought, not just something someone knows, but doesn’t have time to do. I feel inspired when I can bring new ideas or answers to the company. I am fortunate enough to work with a great team of colleagues, and together we create some fashionable, creative and comfortable designs that empower women..and that makes me feel good.
What can’t you live without?
The great outdoors, my husband and my job! My job is to be creative, and I love what I do and who I work with. I am also fortunate enough to live with my husband in the most amazing location that feeds my non working persona, where I can hike, snowboard and ski and make the most of the outdoors.
Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…
Anything really uncomfortable. I am not a true die hard fashionista who will wear clothes at any cost, including comfort.
Looks from Ziera's winter 2016 collection.
Images from Ziera Shoes.