Keeley Smith

Keeley designs the urban rawness behind ‘A Keeley’s Heel’



FAULT: When did you first realize you wanted to become a footwear designer?

Keeley: The decision to design shoes was an obvious one for me from a young age, I have always been very creative and had a keen interest in fashion but shoes were always my first love! From the age of around 14 when I realised you could do a University degree in footwear design there was no looking back!?Someone once said to me that a womans fascination with shoes stems from the fact that no matter how many cream cakes or chocolate you eat your shoe size always stays the same! This means that on those ‘fat days’ when dress or jeans shopping can leave a woman feeling down, shoes shopping is always a pleasure! At the age of around 14 when I realised you could do University degrees in footwear design there was no looking back!

FAULT: Your current collection is full of architectural shapes and bold color patterns. What was the inspiration behind it?

Keeley: The inspiration behind my collection came from my fascination into how sportswear brands more than any other fashion brands manage to transcend class, colour or creed. From the poorest estates or ghettos to the richest neighbourhoods nearly everybody owns one of the most popular sportswear labels of sports footwear. Unlike other brands that have suffered from what is considered as bad publicity through particular fractions of society sporting their brands for example football hooligans or gang members, sports footwear styles, shapes and brands appear to be exempt from this and their brands remain strong. This has led to both high and lower end designs and price tags e.g the basic everyday sneaker to the limited edition hand crafted sneaker from prices ranging from £40- £10,000!. I wanted to use these values to create a collection and a brand that would appeal to a large cross section of society, i did not want my shoes to appear prentious. ‘A Keeley’s Heel’ reflects the urban rawness that sneakers possess as well as having a sexy, sleek feminine touch.?In order to do this I used every aspect of sneakers to create the collection. Firstly I deconstructed sneakers and repositioned the pieces in a way that would flatter the female foot in a high heel position. Next I manipulated a photograph of a pair of trainers to create the bold, graphic pattern which is printed on silk and leather throughout the collection. From here i designed the entire collection keeping the shapes, style, materials and colours of sneakers in mind.

FAULT: What are you hoping for in the near future?

Keeley: I hope to gain vital first hand experience of the footwear design industry through working with an experienced footwear designer/company. It can be extremely hard to break into the industry with little work experience in the design world. However, I hope that someone will give me the opportunity to learn and gain the experience I desire with the hope that one day I will have the knowledge and financial stability to launch my own label.

FAULT: And, What is your FAULT?

Keeley: My biggest fault is over-perfection. Sometimes I find it hard to detach myself from a design and move on as I am always in persuit of the perfect shoe!