Singer, dancer, Pussycat Doll, TV persona and now shoe designer; Ashley Roberts is one busy lady, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. She has kindly taken the time to share with BritznBeatz about her new business venture, a gorgeous women’s footwear range called ALLYN (Ashley’s middle name). She has designed the Spring/Summer 2017 collection herself and they have been crafted from fine Italian leather. Taking inspiration from her longtime love of shoes combined with her family’s musical background, this collection is creative and unique; looking back to 90s music and fashion icons with design names such as Prince, Liv and Cindy. Read more exclusively from the designer herself:
Q. Tell me something about yourself people might not already know?
I am a shoe addict. I love them. I have over 1000 pairs; some are vintage and some I would think are collectors pieces. These have been a source of inspiration to me as I design this collection. I like unusual details and interesting finishes – oversized buckles, cutout leather… perspex heels.
Q. Why did you decide to launch a shoe collection? What inspired you?
I have always been passionate about footwear and wanted to create something that I own. I have been involved in the design and creative process from start to finish and have loved creating this kickass footwear range. My inspiration for ALLYN came from my love for fashion and shoes in particular, combined with my family’s musical background. I wanted to create a footwear brand so that all women can kick ass in their shoes.
Q. Can you describe the shoe range to me?
I looked to 1990s icons for inspiration, with styles named after Prince, Liv and Cindy. The collection includes flats, cone heels and metallic block heels – in a variety of blended colours. I collaborated with an Italian family-run factory that has been producing footwear for the past 30 years and ALLYN is characterised by high finishes and quality designs as well as premium fabrics and cowboy finishes. Prices start from £150.
Q. What is your personal style and how does this influence your designs?
I am very influenced by music, I would say I am a free spirit, I am not really guided by one style. I would say I love to wear evening dresses and jeans and therefore this is reflected in the designs. There are shoes for every occasion. I wouldn’t be scared to wear the leopard cowboy boots with a silk dress or open toes with socks!
Q. When and where will we be able to purchase them?
They are available to buy now from www.larizia.com
Q. Who is your current shoe crush?
Currently Mara and Mine, Alexander Wang, Gucci
Q. During your time music and dancing career you must have worn some amazing fashion and shoes – do you have a particular design memory that is important to you as a performer and dancer?
Throughout my career I have worn shoes that define me and complement my outfits. I remember performing with the Dolls and we were wearing lace-up calf length boots, they took an age to get on (we all looked amazing.) After a performance you tended to want to just kick your shoes off, completely impossible when you’ve got a 100 laces to untie!!
Q. Who is your dream collaboration?
On the fashion front, it would be amazing to work with Mary Katrantzou; her designs are quirky and unique. I also think Henry Hollands collections are wild!
Q. What is your biggest achievement to date?
To get this far and realise my dream of branching out with my own venture.
Q. What is your favourite part of your career?
Having the opportunity to be involved in so many different areas, such as fashion, music and running a business. I have a lot on my plate and I am enjoying the challenge.
Q. What are your plans for the coming year?
I believe 2017 will be a great year. I am passionate about my shoe range and I am already working on the next season with updated designs, fabrics and colours.
You can purchase Ashley’s debut shoe collection here