A true artist and visionary, Tori Soudan is one of the few African American female shoe designers in the world. Her purpose—born out of a love for fashion—began at just 9 years old in her hometown of Stratford, Connecticut, where her mother taught her to make fancy Easter dresses.
As a teenager, Tori progressed to designing prom gowns for classmates. Her inspiration to design footwear came in 1994 when she studied abroad and saw a demonstration given by a master shoemaker near Venice, Italy. She was struck by the intricacies of Old World shoemaking and embarked on her vision to design footwear of impeccable quality for women. She went on to graduate Spelman College, and after studying design at the famed Parson’s Institute of Design in NYC and interning with American sportswear designer Tommy Hilfiger, Tori was ready to give women what she knew they deserved—the most superlative shoes imaginable, and in 2011, she debuted her first collection.
Today the Tori Soudan Shoe Collection is about timeless sophistication and sexy, fearless style. For Tori, shoes are emotional and she designs stories. Her designs, which are handmade in Italy by master artisans, are also evocative of her love of art, photography, fashion and exotic destinations, all of which translate into a heady dose of color, texture, wit and directional detailing, be it architectural shapes or a provocative combination of unique skins and opulent fabrics.
“I love creating dimensions in my designs. I play with light and reflection, smooth versus soft surfaces and sheen versus matte, as it’s essential to me to move beyond the ordinary into something that denotes distinction,” she says.
Tori believes that women should dress from the shoes up, and with every collection she passionately gives them a reason to do so.
Check out her unique styles at ToriSoudan.com.