The Bite Magazine - Autumn/Winter 2019 - Issue 26

From a successful lawyer to a thriving shoe designer, Cristina Lloyd finds out what makes Meenu Graziani’s colourful shoes red-carpet ready. bite shoes compromise on the quality of the materials I use because I want to ensure my designs are sustainable.” Therefore, the designs she creates are distinctive and nothing like anything already available on the mar- ket. For this reason, prints and patterns used in Meenu Graziani shoe designs are exclusive to the brand. Her brand is a fusion of eastern and western cultures. Meenu is influ- enced by the energy of London life and the vibrant colours of her own heritage. “I create unique designs that effortlessly combine contempo- rary elegance with my brand signature elements of bright colours, bold metallics, and exciting patterns.” Having her own label has enabled the designer to have full control over her designs as well as the colours that she uses. Her phenomenal colours and prints truly do stand out which has at- tracted the likes of television presenter Susanna Reid and Canadian comedian Katherine Ryan as well as other celebrities who have worn her designs on both the red carpet and magazine shoots. It perhaps stems from Electra, the pink shoe with a silver cutout that became her signature shoe and allowed her to introduce new colours. She has also had stylists from around the world requesting her shoes and handbags for their clients. Meenu is inspired by many of her fellow designers and looks up to Manolo Blahnik, Alexander McQueen, Nicolas Kirkwood, Sophia Webster, and Brian Atwood. Having grown up watching both Hol- lywood and Bollywood films; several of these celebrities would look good in her shoes. For her, it would be an honour to have Beyoncé, Oprah Winfrey, and Michelle Obama, as well as Indian film actresses Sonam Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, and the gorgeous Priyanka Chopra wear her designs. When it comes to making a quality article, Meenu says it starts with the materials and the quality of the materials that are sourced for her brand. This is followed by the way they are crafted by the factory. “I believe the whole process of designing a shoe to the end makes a qual- ity shoe.” As a designer who likes to work with all materials, especially sustainable ones, quality is also important as it builds the foundation of the shoe. She doesn’t have a favourite colour, so she is happy with all of them, especially bright hues. To aspiring shoe designers, she would advise them to, “be yourself. You should look at trends and see what is in that season but do your own thing. Furthermore, listen to your customers and see what they are looking for; therefore be flexible.” In the future, she is looking to expand her brand and introduce a bridal collection that she is very excited about. Meenu also wants to work with new stockists in the UK as well as branching out internationally. “I am extremely excited to see where my journey takes me.” Elements of Colour