After a nomadic up bringing that saw her live in England, Spain, Beverley Hills, the Gold Coast, Fiji and Ireland, designer and creator of Hong Kong based accessories label SHUESHUE, Arabella Louise certainly has a myriad of travel memories to mine for inspiration. With teenage dreams of international pop super stardom and an early sense of shoe lust, it’s no wonder SHUESHUE is gaining momentum as a go to online label for those looking for something a little left of centre. We caught up on the ins and outs of starting an accessories label in the ever-eclectic Hong Kong fashion climate.
How did SHUESHUE come about?
I was eager to build a successful online business, whether it be selling brands or creating my own. So upon moving to Hong Kong, I very quickly discovered a world of options with manufacturing and so I sourced amazing factories with whom I co-design.
How did you come to be in Hong Kong?
I visited Hong Kong with my darling best friend for his birthday last year. After the trip of a lifetime I fell in love with the place and moved a few months after. This is usually the case for people when they visit Hong Kong. The lifestyle is very appealing. I moved over seeking a change of scenery and to start a fashion business focusing on accessories and voila, SHUESHUE was born.
What made you want to start your own label?
I guess I wanted the freedom to work from anywhere with having my own business, along with producing accessories and pieces that I feel are unusual yet tasteful. I want to create those ‘must have’ items. I felt I had all this creative energy without the outlet to release it. Also, I was very eager to learn about manufacturing. I had worked in a few different aspects of the fashion industry; wholesale, retail and styling. So a new challenge felt necessary.
Did you study shoe design or are you self-taught?
I haven’t studied any side of fashion to be honest. I have mainly learnt from my previous employers and also on the job – I feel that’s where you gain the most knowledge. Learning from mistakes is a biggie too.
How does the fashion scene in Hong Kong compare to other parts of the world?
It’s different. Hong Kong is full of corporates and not so many creatives. So you see a mass of suits everywhere. In saying that, there are some very trendy ‘sartorialist-esque’ bankers. Perfectly tailored suits, waistcoats, well fitted pants (even cut above the ankle), pocket squares, check ties – you name it. There is also a lot of jock and prep going around, not the ‘Chuck Bass’ kind unfortunately. So when you spot a spunky look, it’s kind of exciting. Hong Kong locals however are very creative, super quirky and love to ‘throw it all on’. The street style reminds me of what you would see in Japan. Fun, bright, edgy and carefree style. Then there are the hipsters, which of course are everywhere. Hong Kong is blogger mad. They are obsessed.
Do you think living in Hong Kong plays a large part in influencing your designs?
It definitely helps. I don’t think I could have established this business from anywhere else with such ease. Also being in the centrepiece of the world, there is an immediate access to upcoming trends and styles.
So who is the SHUESHUE girl?
SHUESHUE is for the girl who appreciates fashion and enjoys self-expression through clothes and accessories. I wish to create a home for shoe lovers who share the same addiction that others may not understand.
Is there a signature SHUESHUE style?
I really enjoy soft, comfortable leathers. Embellishments make me gush too. I am working on heels at the moment, which I am a big fan of. I have more heels in my wardrobe than I do flats! I want to create real eye-catching, lust worthy heels. You know, the conversation starters.
Where do you see SHUESHUE in the future?
I am working towards SHUESHUE providing all sorts of well-made accessories. I wish for it to be the one stop shop catering for all outfit needs, style types and also producing investment pieces. Clothes are on the horizon also…
For more information or to buy your very own SHUESHUE’s, visit www.shueshue.com