Taschka Shoes is a brand where fashion and travel truly unite. A brand of luxe-leather flats that are stylish and functional for everyday life.
The initial inspiration came from my love of city exploration, always seemingly wearing ballet flats that were not at all comfortable for wandering cobbled streets. I wanted to create a shoe that was more substantial and supportive than what was a then current trend of low quality, high priced ballerinas. Taschka was created as a premium but affordable independent brand to bridge the gap between high street and designer flat shoes.
Each shoe is handmade in our Portuguese family-run workshop using traditional shoe making methods – firstly, my sketches are turned into a pattern using a 3D wooden mould called a last. The design is sketched onto this and then turned into pattern pieces which are then cut by hand out of the leathers. From there, each part is stitched, constructed and the almost completed shoe is assembled and put back onto the mould (called ‘lasting’) and the sole is attached. There are many steps to creating a shoe!
Prior to starting Taschka, I worked for a luxury travel brand. As a passion of mine, it felt right to bring in that influence in a subtle way. The airport represents the gateway to your travels – that feeling of euphoria when you land in a new place and know you are about to discover the sights and sounds of a new culture.
Again, I was keen to add a very subtle hint of each destination into the structure of the designs without it being too obvious. For example, FLO has a foot flattering bar detail across the front, reminiscent of the many bridges of Florence, JAI (Jaipur) is a contemporary take on the traditional Indian slipper, ORY and ANE (Paris and Loire Valley) have a French chic vibe with a heart featured on both and LAS (Vegas) has an oasis of vibrant print in the centre.
It was truly inspirational to be working alongside master craftsmen who have been perfecting their skills for tens of years. So talented yet so humble, their well-worn hands tell many fascinating stories. It was mesmeric to watch and be taught by these men and women, who have all worked for many prestigious brands including Gucci and Moschino. Along with studying at such a renowned school, just living in the beautiful city was a huge influence. The Italian’s have perfected their style, beautiful architecture and their cuisine – I ate a lot of ice cream!
As I have Indian heritage, this will always be my most favourite country. The chaos in the city markets; majestic palaces and painted elephants roaming the streets; camping under the stars in the jungle and the comfort of a roadside cup of masala chai.
The forthcoming collection is my favourite – particularly the new JFK style – as I feel we have come so far and the brand is developing more and more personality as we continue to create. I am also excited to launch the ‘Essential Luxe’ collection very soon, which includes our core styles in three neutral shades – perfect for everyday.
New JFK model by Taschka Shoes
We are launching a range of unisex sneakers before Christmas, which I am currently wearing everyday to test out – so far, so good! Long term, the goal is to introduce other luxe leather goods such as bags and travel accessories.
We stock in a number of independent retailers across the UK and Europe including London, Edinburgh, Milan and Porto. All of our styles can also have an online boutique at www.taschka.co.uk. The new collection launches online in mid August.