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Meet the local shoe designer who has dressed A-list celebs

SINGAPORE — Mashizan Masjum used to make TV documentaries. Now, he draws inspiration from that experience to design and craft luxury shoes in Florence for more than a few A-listers, with his footwear label, Mashizan.

SINGAPORE — Mashizan Masjum used to make TV documentaries. Now, he draws inspiration from that experience to design and craft luxury shoes in Florence for more than a few A-listers, with his footwear label, Mashizan.

These include actress and producer Vivica A Fox; Emmy-nominated host Jeannie Mai; Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Sara Bareilles; singer Solange Knowles; and a few others.

“Meeting with How Do I Look host Jeannie Mai was a highlight for me,” said Mashizan. “I flew to Los Angeles to catch up with her backstage and showed her our shoes for the first time, and she was so warm and kind … We played shoe dress-up, strutting up and down the makeup room. That was totally hilarious and fun.”

According to Mashizan, each of his collections is inspired by the television documentaries he has filmed in the past.

“So at the start of each cycle, I have to decide (on a) piece of work I’ve done in the past that strikes me,” he said.

He then does research “on the images from that documentary”, as well as global fashion trends in apparel and accessories. “Twice a year, I attend Linea Pelle in Milan (the trade show that showcases the latest works and trends of tanneries in Italy), where I pick the pieces that resonate with the direction of the collection,” he said.

“With this smorgasbord of information and images, I create a mood board that leads to the different types of shoes that will be required for the collection — from heel heights to a range of shoe styles.”

What’s your creation process like? Do you prefer peace and quiet or chaos? When I start sketching the shoe silhouettes, I sequester myself in a room, blasting music that inspires me. I imagine what it’s like for the Mashizan woman to be walking down the catwalk in those shoes. Music, just as visual imagery, is very important to me. I imagine the Mashizan woman to be dancing to the beat of her own tune and I do my sketches with music in the background as this is when I get the most creative.

Choose: Heels or flats? Heels for sure. They elongate your legs and get you to stand upright. They needn’t be super high, but of course nor should you wear them for long hours at a stretch. Vary your styles from day-to-day. But flats are cool, too – our D’orsay flats are pretty comfortable and yet have our unique sense of style.

Can you tell a woman’s personality based on her choice of footwear? I think there are many facets to a woman. She shouldn’t be defined by the shoes she’s wearing because some days she may want to feel sexy, while on other days, comfort is her priority. Women are complex beings and that’s precisely where their beauty lies. It’s okay for her to be tough and vulnerable, sexy and empowered. She can wear flats in the morning, mid heels in the afternoon, and high heels at night… Men, on the hand, can be so boringly predictable.

Can a woman have too many shoes? Never. There are shoes for every occasion. Shoes can make you happy…they can affect your outlook on life, bringing comfort when you are down or lending extra exuberance for when you feel joyful.

 

A version of this story first appeared on ELLE.sg

 

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