A step ahead when it comes to shoe design.
Silvia Lago has put her heart and soul into creating the perfect shoe. The founder and creative director of Silvia Lago believes that women should #ReachHigher in comfort as well as style.
Please introduce yourself to our readers:
My name is Silvia Lago and I am the Creative Director and founder of Barcelona’s first innovative luxury footwear brand. We combine the knowledge of biomechanical science with footwear expertise and luxurious craftsmanship to offer high heel shoes that are beautiful, sophisticated and comfortable to wear all day long.
Tell us about your education:
I have a background in Business Management and Economics. I received my degree from Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona but spent several months studying abroad in London, New York and Philadelphia. I have always been very curious and I love to travel. I believe travelling and learning new cultures is a key aspect of our learning process and development.
How and when did you develop your interest with shoes?
I have loved shoes since a very tender age. Like many other girls, I learned to walk in heels by trying my mother’s shoes when she wasn’t at home. I soon developed a taste and admiration for beautiful, elegant and well-made high heel shoes and couldn’t wait to wear my own when I was a teenager.
Tell us your story. What lead to the launch of your own shoe brand?
Silvia Lago was born out of a personal need. I couldn’t find shoes that were both stylish and comfortable to wear all day in the office. I had to choose between sophisticated but uncomfortable stilettos or more wearable but less stylish high heels. I moved to Alicante in Spain, one of the world’s regions of luxury shoemaking, to learn the art of shoemaking and start a new shoe line that offered both elegance and wearability. With the help and advice of a team of shoe experts, podiatrists, last artisans and biomechanical experts, we developed the first high heel shoes that improve comfort without sacrificing a sophisticated look. Our shoes feature a reinforced structure, cushioned insoles with high performing materials, anti-bacterial leather linings, stable heels with shock-absorbing heel caps, etc.
When was the brand officially launched?
The brand was officially launched in 2014, when we presented our initial shoe technology in Barcelona. With the experience of that first collection, we refined and improved our shoe technology to make it more comfortable and with an improved shoe integration.
What were some of the challenges you faced during the early stages of launching your brand?
Our high heel shoes and our comfort technology has been the result of more than three years of extensive research. It hasn’t been an easy task to fuse our shoe technology and innovative comfort features with the best luxurious craftsmanship. However, it’s in the brand’s DNA to continue innovating and improving the comfort of our shoes. We think about the research and development process as an ongoing one.
What do you feel you bring to shoe design that sets you apart from your contemporaries? What are the key benefits of Silvia Lago shoes?
Our brand was born with the idea of creating the first luxury shoe brand to blend both style and comfort. There is a need for wearable luxury high heels, but the traditional brands are not providing any solution. We are using the knowledge of biomechanical science to improve the comfort of high heel shoes. First, your weight is evenly distributed throughout the shoe and you stand stable and supported. As you walk, the shoe mitigates the impulsive load from your toe and heel-strike. And finally, the shape of the shoe effectively conforms to the shape of your foot as you move. We use a proprietary system, the LagosFit® technology, that features a reinforced structure, high performance cushioned insoles, anti-bacterial leather lining, stable heels with softer heel caps that are shock-absorbing and provide a more silent walk, soft leathers with natural stretch properties, etc.
Is there a particular type of woman that your brand targets?
The modern lady who is going places and needs comfortable and stylish shoes to carry her gracefully all day (and night!). Designed for and by women, because we sometimes all need a little help to #ReachHigher and we, smart women, know what we want: effortlessly sophisticated stilettos that feel good! Note the stylish block heels for all day wear and the thin but stable stilettos to enjoy comfortably at evening events.
What is the LagosFit Tech?
The LagosFit® is an exclusive comfort technology developed after several years of research advised by a team of footwear experts, biomechanics scientists, podiatrists and last artisans. We have combined the knowledge of biomechanical science with footwear expertise to champion a technology which forces the foot to walk as anatomically correct as possible while providing unparalleled comfort when walking in high heels. Our design and materials measurably improve load distribution, reduce impact shock, and minimize friction, resulting in a healthier and longer-wearing high heel shoe that never compromises on a sophisticated look.
The LagosFit® features a proprietary cushioned insole with high-perfomance materials, a concealed shock absorbing flexible platform, biomechanically engineered and well-balanced construction, Italian luxury soft leather uppers with natural stretch properties, high-performance anti-microbial breathable leather lining, shock absorbing stable ‘silent’ heels and an overall proven comfortable design.
What kind of materials do you use for your shoes?
We use a wide variety of materials thinking of beauty, quality and comfort. For the shoe uppers I absolutely love Italian cashmere-like suede, always elegant and sophisticated. I also like the luxury feel of velvet colours and bright glitters. I am a huge fan of shiny Swarovski crystals and embellishments as well! On the inside of the shoe we use a super soft anti-bacterial leather lining to avoid over-heating temperatures and bad smell. Finally, all of our shoes feature a high-performing insole material that molds to your foot to cushion every step and recovers 100% of its shape after each use.
How often do you launch new collections?
Due to the nature of our shoes and the time needed to develop its comfort technology, we release new styles periodically but do not follow any specific calendar dates. We love to hear our customers’ opinion and offer styles that better serve their needs and tastes. Being a direct-to-consumer brand allows us to better adapt to our customers’ demands and serve them better and faster.
Where do you draw your inspiration for your new collections?
My inspiration is the modern cosmopolitan woman. A lady who needs to be polished, comfortable and stylish in an effortless way. I always try to blend our comfort features with Spain’s luxury craftsmanship to bring wearability and style to the feet of women on the go. I am also very inspired by the timeless elegance and chic style of the 40s and 50s, especially of the old Hollywood divas. Think of the effortless feminine style of Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly.
Tell us about the box in which you package your shoes?
Our box is a very special one! It carries an extraordinary pair of shoes, so it has to be very beautiful and feminine. I cannot reveal more details, but you’ll see! It is part of the magical experience of buying a pair of Silvia Lago shoes and receiving them at home all the way from our shoe atelier in Spain.
How has the brand expanded since its inception? Where are Silvia Lago shoes available today?
Our shoes have been extremely well accepted since their launch and the early adopters (especially the brides!) have praised the comfort of the shoes. We are a direct-to-consumer brand and our shoes are available from our online boutique www.silvialago.com. We have worked very hard to offer you the best experience and you’ll see when you receive your pair all the way from Spain. We are offering worldwide shipping and easy returns.
How do you name your shoes or the collection?
Going back to my Spanish roots and due to the fact that the shoes are manufactured in Alicante, in Spain, I name all of my shoes after female Spanish names. Some of them are inspired by amazing women I know, others are just beautiful names I like.
What has been your biggest struggle as a shoe designer?
To bring the concept of shoe technology and luxury craftsmanship to life. We are changing the way high heel shoes have been designed and produced for decades and that takes time to adjust. But we are very happy with the result, and seeing that our customers love our shoes is the best reward!
Why did you decide to launch in UAE and are you planning further expansion in the region?
I feel very inspired by the Arab cultural background and its ancient traditions. I am in love with its lively and colourful atmosphere and feel very connected with the aesthetics and taste of the region. Middle Eastern women love shiny bright colours and textures as much as I do. I would love to see the brand expand in the area and grow a loyal customer base.
What major differences do you notice in the Middle Eastern consumer compared to those in the Western world?
The Middle Eastern woman loves bright colours and likes to experiment much more with shiny textures and materials. She likes to wear fun shoes in lively colours. Whereas Western women are usually more at ease with classic neutral colours, tones and shapes and they don’t like to dress up as much for the everyday.
Finally, your message for us at CP magazine:
Thank you so much for this interview and the opportunity of talking about our innovative concept in your lovely magazine! We are disrupting the luxury footwear industry, by changing the way footwear has been designed, produced and sold for decades. Silvia Lago is no ordinary fashion house, we are a for-purpose brand on a mission to elevate, inspire and empower women around the world. We want to help the Lago ladies be confident, beautiful and comfortable in their shoes so they can #ReachHigher!