Posted: May 13th, 2011
It was certainly very refreshing meeting a shoe designer for once! I rarely come across shoe designers around here especially a banker turned shoe designer – they probably exist but are few! It was such a great delight meeting Afua Dabanka. We had never met before and arranged to meet over brunch with accessories designer Isobel Acquah. As I sat there trying to figure out who Afua could be from the people in the room, it suddenly dawned on me to check out their shoes! So there I was, people spotting and shoes checking until Afua walked in, wearing a pair of cerulean blue t bar platform sandals in the softest suede ever… We talked about shoes, why she loves them and how to build your shoe collection…
What does MO SAÏQUE mean to you?
MO SAÏQUE “is about who you are and what you love”. It is derived from being like a mosaic (middle french way of spelling mosaique..) “MO” is my nickname and mosaic represents me as a person – I have been shaped and formed by so many different influences and cultures hence my first collection Global Nomad. I was raised in Germany by Ghanaian parents, lived and worked in many European Union countries and have travelled extensively.
Did you have any formal training before setting up MO SAÏQUE?
MO SAÏQUE is a luxury footwear brand, handcrafted in Italy and was born out of my inexplicable love for shoes. I want to create ranges that exude confidence and are unashamedly sexy, always with interplay of European sophistication and an accent of Africa to the colours, textures and fabrics. All ranges are limited edition to ensure that every woman feels extra special when she is wearing MO SAÏQUE..
Yes, I studied footwear design at the London College Fashion. Mine is the story of banker turned shoe designer.
Why design shoes?
I am in love with shoes – I love wearing them, I love designing shoes, I love the smell of Italian leather- it’s simply a love affair! I would argue that shoes are the most important part of an outfit. When we wear that perfect heel, our persona changes, our attitude changes, the way we are perceived changes, our body changes. It was when I understood this about shoes that I knew I wanted to create that perfect pair for each and every woman in the world.
What comes first in the design process? Material or Style ?
For me actually the colour palette comes first, then the material followed by the design. The colour selection sets the mood for the entire collection.
What is MO SAÏQUE’s shoe design aesthetic?
Classics with subtle hints of femme fatale
Who are your favourite shoe designers at the moment? Why?
My all time favorite – Roger Vivier. Already, back in the 1920’s he shaped the future of footwear design. He was adventurous, as well as classic in his designs. He explored with materials and shapes and combined the traditional with the new.
Christian Louboutin – all I can say is simply beautiful and super sexy.
How many pairs of shoes do you have? An estimate..
I honestly can’t say and I am actually scared to count. As I have pairs in Ghana, Germany and London…but I know they are A LOT!
Ballet pumps? Kitten heels? Stilettos or Platforms? What are we most likely to find more of in your closet?
Definitely Platforms! They give you that extra height and confidence without sacrificing on comfort.
Please share tips on building up a capsule shoe collection.
Well, I am not the best person to ask, as I would say buy as many shoes as you can so you have a variety and can pick and choose!
I would suggest the best capsule wardrobe should include, a comfortable sleek sneaker, flats – ballerina, an open toed sandal, a show stopping evening heel, a tall boot when temperatures start to drop and a medium black pump for work
Pls share tips on shopping for the perfect work shoes.
If you could play shoe closet raiders with anyone, who would it be?
Imelda Marcos back in the day– if the number is really true, she must have had many many many precious vintage styles!
What is your vision for MO SAÏQUE’?
I felt very honoured, when my mentor referred me as …”our very own Jimmy Choo”. I think these four words say it all..