Before setting up his eponymous shoe label in 2015, Mashizan spent almost two decades producing award-winning documentaries for National Geographic, History Channel, and Discovery Channel.
Mashizan’s shoes have been picked up by A-list celebrities such as actress and producer Vivica A Fox, Emmy-nominated host Jeannie Mai, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Sara Bareilles, and singer Solange Knowles (sister of Beyoncé).
Since the launch of his brand in 2015, Mashizan has had extensive media coverage from major magazines and many local bloggers in Singapore. Despite all the media attention, Mashizan remains down-to-earth and approachable.
TRS Favourites from the Trunk Show
This sandal is chunky yet feminine at the same time. The glittery straps and curvy wedge make this a perfect option for a girls’ night out.
The Sayang is available in Black, Purple and Green.
The thing that I love most about this piece is the adorable hanging charm from the waist of the arch inspired by Florentine chandeliers.
Initially, I was skeptical of the comfort due to its 10cm heel and thin straps. However, trying it on felt more like a 7cm pair of heels than 10cm due to the comfortable angle of the arch and stability from the wedge.
The Sayumi is available in Black and Purple.
3. LA SARIMA
This was my favourite amongst all the shoes on display that day. It is produced in two unique colours – turqouise and mustard. The crystal embellishment in the front of the D’orsay is made from Swarovski crystals that the designer himself sourced, handpicked and sewed together for the prototype to ensure that every piece was exactly where he wanted.
The Swarovski crystals in the front and at the back of the heel, coupled with the thin ankle strap make this shoe very delicate and sexy. Ladies with a very wide foot might find the front of the shoe a little slim though and it would be best to arrange for a fitting to try on the shoes.
I managed to steal a couple of minutes with the Singapore-born, Florence-based, designer for a few questions.
TRS: How would you describe your design style?
MM: My style can be described as Classic Italian – inspired by the elegance of Sophia Loren and pleasures of ‘La Dolce Vita’. I like to mix and match different materials and textures and draw inspiration from my travels as a TV documentary producer. I’ve done many TV docs over a span of almost two decades and each collection is inspired by a past creative work.
TRS: Which is your favourite piece in all the collections and why?
MM: It would definitely be the silver booty there [referring to the Tambora in Silver]! I love it because it is so edgy and versatile, it goes easily with any outfit!
TRS: What inspires you?
MM: First, the documentaries that I’ve done before in the past and second, the experience I’ve had on my travels. Before going into shoes, I’ve had almost 20 years of experience in making documentaries and I’ve been to so many places filming those. That’s a lot of material to work with.
In fact, my second collection the “Vulcano” was inspired by a documentary I did called “Inside the Volcano” which was filmed in Hawaii. I remember we [the film team] walked on some rocks and we heard cracking sounds. We said to ourselves “Oh my god, what is happening?” and as we looked down, we saw the rocks we were walking on cracking with every step we took.
That inspired me to create the Tambora with its texture that resembled the rocks and the cracking I saw beneath my feet.
TRS: Did you face any challenges being an Asian and coming from the little red dot trying to break into the global luxury shoe industry?
MM: Definitely, there have been challenges and in the past 2 years, we’ve had our ups and downs.
In Singapore, we’re in a good position as we are the only homegrown luxury footwear brand. But in New York, London, and Paris, we are just one of the many hundreds of designer brands competing for the consumer dollar.
To set ourselves apart, we try to give to our customers specialised attention by doing trunk shows and private showcases. We have had to build our customer database from scratch. So far we’ve done trunk shows in Dubai, New York, Paris and Kuala Lumpur and the women who attend love the fact that they get to hear the stories behind the shoe creations from the designer himself.
TRS: Do you have any tips for young budding Singapore designers?
MM: Be true to yourself, your design is an expression and extension of who you are. Follow your heart. It will be very challenging but, after all, you only have one life.
Mashizan’s shoes range from SGD 600 to SGD 1,000 and are sold at:
2. Robinsons The Heeren; and
3. Julie Nicole at Capitol Piazza
Do check out Mashizan’s website for more styles: http://www.mashizan.com/
From now till 16 July 2017, The Red Stiletto readers get a 15% discount by quoting this promo code “TRSMM“. Please send your enquiries and orders directly to firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for a fitting and to get the 15% off.
“Follow your heart. It will be very challenging but, after all, you only have one life.”