FOUNDERS ANNE-MARIE ST LAURENT, KRIS AKAVIAN
The Black Suede Studio Group initially launched in 2016 as a private label division, oering compet- itive full-service solutions to major brands across North America. As a response to the void in the market for Black Suede Studio’s oering and the strong demand for high-quality shoes at a mid-range price point, the brand launched in 2018. From their words : They say great shoes can take you great places: Black Suede Studio’s styles are designed to take you everywhere, in every stage of life. With ultra-wearable silhouettes and on-trend detailing, our curated selection of boots and shoes are developed with “the woman on the go” in mind. From the boardroom to the bar scene, these shoes work overtime (while making time for after-hours playtime). We are all about versatility, supreme quality, and empowering you to enjoy our shoes from a.m. to p.m.
Why the name Black Suede Studio ?
Black Suede is the most common material used in the fashion in- dustry, so it just t perfectly. It has that luxurious feel and elegance that really represented our brand. Studio because our business has dierent branches to it. We’re a design studio and we oer our services to private labels as well.
What differentiates your brand from others on the market ?
It's the vision of the brand. The idea behind the brand is for the woman on the go. There's no age boundaries for our products, we're very versatile. From day to night, every style has its own sparkle to make any woman feel special and unique. Even if you're not up to date with the latest trends, you'll find your perfect match to elevate your worth and make you feel good. Everything is based on comfort, wearability. Nothing is extreme. Most of the collections as we grow is being sourced, developed and designed with our partners out of Europe. Italy, Portugal, and Brazil.
We wanted to create good quality products that hits the right price range. We're not trying to compete with high luxury brands, but instead attract clients at more affordable prices. Our shoes range from $140-400. Made from the finest hand made leather and fabrics on the market.
Future projects coming up ?
We have partnered up with Dress for Success to donate samples of shoes to help women re enter the work force. Our plan is to always give a portion back to women in need to make them feel good on the inside and outside.
Where do you get your inspirations for upcoming collections ?
The process is to analyze upcoming trends at all levels in fashion - whether that's apparel or shoes.
We work with trend forecasters. We pay attention to the ready to wear collections coming out. What are the tones, are they bright warm, is it pastels, is there a lot of print, textiles. It's really analyzing that at every level. We put a team in place to download all this information. Then we take business trips to places that will inspire our looks such as New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Paris, London. Then we filter and find the right direction for our brand.
What motivates you to keep going ?
Success which for me is defined by how you impact others.Our goals is to build a community, a brand that supports women and that empowers them in their everyday lives. I always want to use real women for photoshoots because I feel like people will relate more to real women. It's hard to be a woman in business, we struggle with balancing it all especially with children and a career. I feel like that's the message behind the brand.
Where do you see BSS in 5-10 years ?
We plan on opening brick and mortars in North America. Our mission is to continuously focus on building a modern, family oriented and exible company. We focus on the growth of our em- ployees and expend in foreign markets such as the US and Europe. Our long term vision is to build a full on brand with apparel and accessories.
Now available in Canada at retail stores: Browns, TNT, La Maison Simons,The Green Room, Imelda Loversland, SOS Save Our Souls, Alton Gray, Espace Pepin, Billie Boutique, Premium, Tozzie. USA : Anthropologie, Nordstrom.