The secret to happiness? Valentini Argyropoulou's shoes!
They say you can't buy happiness, but Greek shoe designer, Valentini Argyropoulou, has proved this wrong. Happiness comes from the sole! Her vibrant shoes show us how joy can start with what you wear on your feet. Through her London College of Fashion (LCF) dissertation, she surveyed 500 women and found that the combination of bright, vibrant colours had an instantaneous positive impact on people's mood. Using these results, she incorporated striking and unusual colour combinations into her shoes to make people happier (see her pieces below). Here to speak about her exciting and daring shoe designs, is designer Valentini Argyropoulou.
Describe a typical Valentini Argyropouloul girl?
I imagine the women wearing my shoes to be mid 20s to mid 40s. She likes being different and doesn't necessarily follow the main fashion trends, but wants to stand out! And although I mainly design for girls, I would not be shocked if men would wear my shoes as well.
Tell me more about your London College of Fashion research in which you found that certain colour combinations had a positive impact on people's mood and how you used these findings in your collections.
For my masters dissertation, I researched how different colour combinations impacted one's mood, especially when used in footwear. I did my research on approximately 500 females and the interesting outcome was that the majority of the respondents claimed that they felt more happy and cheerful after they saw someone wearing brightly coloured shoes. The problem is, however, that while people feel better, they are hesitant to wear brightly coloured shoes as they either lack the confidence or fear being judged.
Did you always knew you wanted to study footwear design?
I grew up in Greece where footwear design was unfortunately not considered a real career. So I actually first started by studying mathematics at university and when I decided to quit that to study footwear design, everyone thought I was crazy! They couldn't understand why I would quit maths to pursue a career in fashion, especially footwear.
Your shoes are absolutely exquisite and contain very unique designs and patterns. Do you sometimes find it difficult to create such innovative shoes without compromising on comfort?
I really pay attention to make sure my shoes are comfortable to wear. I would never want the wearer of my shoes to feel any pain. So that's definitely something I focus on. I would prefer my customers to wear my shoes as much as they can instead of the shoes just living inside the wardrobe.
What are your plans for the next 5 to 10 years?
As I am working as a freelance designer as well as running my brand, this means I often travel when I work on projects. I would therefore like to make collections inspired by the countries I've travelled to. This summer I visited Tanzania and now I am researching the colour identity of the country and would like to create a collection based on this. I would therefore like to combine travelling and footwear.
What brands inspire you?