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BEHIND THE BRAND: IN CONVERSATION WITH MALONE SOUILERS FOUNDER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR, MARY ALICE

What is the first thing you do in the morning?
My typical morning starts with me waking up with my daughter. She’s usually up around 8am so I make her breakfast then I scroll through my messages and emails to have a quick snapshot of the day.

You travel a lot. How do you maintain a sense of balance when you’re always on-the-go?
I used to exercise first thing in the morning, but with a toddler, that’s not as possible these days, so I like to have a coffee and start working as soon as I wake up. I really like having the early mornings to myself with that bit of peace and quiet to focus and get things done.

At what age did you know you wanted to design shoes?
I’ve loved shoes from a young age - ever since I used to play dress-up in my fabulous grandmother’s wardrobe. However, I am interested in so much more than just what something looks like. After school I studied various forms of making, including carpentry and welding before I embarked on the journey of learning shoe design at the Cordwainers course at the London School of Fashion. I am fascinated by the process behind the construction of the shoes and not just the aesthetics.

What are three things you love about Level Shoes?
Level Shoes has been one of our key partners from very early on so it’s hard to say just three things! I love that the store is only dedicated to my favourite categories which are of course footwear and accessories. The store itself is so beautiful and it’s always so much more than just a shopping experience to go there. We always love working with the Level Shoes team as they are so supportive of us.

What is your design process like?
I am constantly inspired by the men and women around me, it’s the psychology of the wearer that interests me. For FW20 I looked to the Eastern School of Alchemy to delve into the idea of how an object can transform you both physically and psychologically. I love working with my wonderful design team to bring these ideas to life. An important part of the design process is testing the samples once they have been made. I always insist that comfort is key!

I am constantly inspired by the men and women around me, it’s the psychology of the wearer that interests me.

In your opinion, what makes the perfect pair of shoes?
The perfect pair of shoes are made of the best materials and are constructed carefully to ensure optimal comfort and are finished with unique details. They should make you feel unapologetically yourself, which is how I want all my customers to feel when they wear my designs.

What appeals to you about the Middle East?
I love going to the Middle East when I can. I am always in admiration of how chic and sophisticated the men and women there are. I love that they appreciate the art of dressing up, which is something I think we all need to remember to do every now and then in these strange times!

What can customers expect from the brand?
Customers can find worldwide exclusive re-imaginings of some of our iconic silhouettes. They include our best-selling Maureens and Maisies in laminated suede, which is a beautifully tactile material. They can expect neutral tones, as well as shimmer and metallics, for that bit of sparkling elegance.

THE PERLA MULE

Square-toed must-haves in contrasting hues

THE MISSY MULE

Embellished, decorative and luxurious design