Let’s just put it out there: finding the perfect pair of pointy pumps in your specific size can be the most ‘schleppy’ exercise ever! I am a European size 35, AKA “The Notorious T.I.N.Y.” – and extremely rare is the occasion where I discover the shoe that I wanted in the smallest sort. I have threatened my family many times to flee to China, where I’m guessing I won’t have this problem. Yes, I would move to another country just to procure the right size in shoes! And for those of you thinking that I’m stereotyping Asian feet into the category of small – no my dears, I was making a reference to the fact that this is where all of our shoes basically come from, so I figured that I’ll go right to the source. 😀
From the time I hit adolescence, I have longed for a magical place where I can find the most gorgeous, high-quality heels in a size 35, all at the flick of an equally magical switch.
Well, the good news is that such shoes are no longer an enchanted, distant desire to me. Ever since discovering the beautiful eponymous collection by Aretha Bauwens online, I now understand what it means to get up-close and personal with the designer and her shoes!
To those of you who didn’t know, Aretha Bauwens is no stranger to the fashion world, which is closely intertwined with her line of previous work. Aretha was a successful model/actress for the SABC, before turning her attention to the business of fashion and beauty. This is no small feat for a young lady like Aretha, who grew up in the humble village of Khubvi, Venda!
Aretha is a visionary from the point of conception right to the production phase, “I see them in my head, imagine myself wearing them and then I convey my vision to my team who produce them,” she says. She also realizes that she has honed her talents in the shoe market, which is not very saturated in the South African trade industry, “I love challenges, and shoes are a challenge with all the sizes and cuts, so I thought to myself, ‘Aretha, you can do this.’ ”
Aretha finds the process to be therapeutic. “Every design I make expresses my mood at that particular time.” She designs her shoes for successful women who love to make a statement – “the kind of woman who commands respect without even saying a word when she walks past.”
“She is stylish, a lady in every sense of the word who means business and oozes confidence.”
The shoes that I’m wearing in this lookbook are the Aretha Bauwens “Speed of Light” in black. I really thought that these high-heeled pumps in a patent leather finish not only made a statement, but also completed the outfit with sophistication and glamour.
Even Aretha believes that these are the perfect go-to shoes. When asked what style every woman needs in her wardrobe, Aretha confirms that she favours the AB Speed of Light, “you can’t go wrong with black”. A lady after my own heart!
Timeless elegance trumps trendiness any day and I felt comfortable in this perfect pair of shoes. This is my signature type of style and I was very pleased that the Aretha Bauwens collection caters to the needs of the typically confident businesswoman. It also doesn’t hurt that these high-heeled shoes have a standard orange sole, which adds an oh-so-chic finishing touch! The prices of the current Aretha Bauwen’s collection ranges from R1290 to R1990 – not bad, considering the personalized service, quality and comfort that you will be receiving in return.
I have had a look at her entire shoe collection and I do believe that there’s a shoe that’s been created for every type of stylish woman out there. I personally enjoyed styling her shoes with jeans, and in this case, ripped boyfriend denims were my pairing du jour. The exciting aspect to these heels is their versatility – you can even style the AB ‘Speed of Light’ with a lovely LBD and hit the town for an evening out with your girl friends!
I finished this look off with my favourite black turtleneck and the best coat I have ever owned. I just love the cold shoulder and off-the-shoulder styles that are really trendy at the moment! They are going to be a must for summer that is quickly creeping up on us here in South Africa. As for the coat – there’s never been an occasion where I didn’t get a compliment for it!
And for those of you who can’t wait to purchase your very own pair of Aretha Bauwens shoes; I am attaching some details at the bottom of this post. I hope you enjoy the experience and do let me know if you have your own AB shoes that you would like to share with me!
Outfit Details: –
Cold shoulder turtleneck – Forever New
Ripped boyfriend denims – Forever New
Military-style black coat – Forever New (yes, I know, I shop here a lot!)
Patent leather pumps – Aretha Bauwens
Mixed media cross-body handbag – Mimco
Rings – Lovisa
Watch – Daniel Wellington
Lisa Gabriel Photography
TiaHoney Makeup by Tiara Swartz, based in Cape Town
Aretha Bauwens Shoes: –
Telephone: +27 21 832 0954