When Erika Carrero, a former Silicon Valley chief financial officer, launched her shoe brand Elizée’s first collection in July, she came to the table with a mission to create shoes styles that are stylish and comfortable.
To that end, she worked with podiatrists to develop Elizée’s Plush Contour insole, which combines layers of memory foam and responsive gel cushioning to reduce pressure in the forefoot, absorb impact, and provide maximum cushion and stability. And style? That question was answered by way of working with a family-run artisan factory outside of Milan, where each style is handcrafted using breathable Italian leathers sourced from certified sustainable tanneries.
“Elizée and its mission are deeply personal to me, because I wanted to meet the needs of the modern woman,” Carrero explained. “To me, the brand is not only about selling shoes. Elizée is a platform to empower women to feel sexy, confident and comfortable all at once because confidence comes naturally when you feel your best.”
Collections range in price from $396 to $545 and offer a mix of pumps, sandals and booties, as well as a bridal offering.
At the onset of the pandemic, the designer said: “Made the decision to continue working on the collection for a few reasons: I started to see the progress from our work, and I really believed that the brand was going to innovate and have a different take on luxury, combining high-tech materials with the Italian heritage.”
But launching heels at a time when most are living in sneakers meant being strategic, and the designer zeroed in on “sharing the value of the brand, which is comfort and style.”
So far it has paid off, and she is charting a path forward using both direct-to-consumer with her e-commerce site and wholesaling with a few boutiques.
Trunk shoes have also been successful in bringing brand awareness. “It’s been really exciting seeing women try the shoes, they really don’t want to take them off! Even women that hadn’t worn heels in years end up buying at least a pair,” Carrero quipped.