[Entrepreneur of the Week] Ade Samuel—Young Fashion Stylist to the Stars Launches Shoe Line

Entrepreneur of the Week: Ade Samuel – Young Fashion Stylist to the Stars Launches Shoe Line

Image: AdeSamuel

Let’s talk about how you turned your vision for a shoe line into reality. Describe your target audience.

My audience is women starting from the age of 16, who appreciate and love shoes! I create for women who embrace their bold style and understand that they can play with the juxtapositions of their sexuality. They can be glamorous but still have an edge, bold but still playful.

How long did it take you to go from concept to execution?

It took almost two years to go from the design process to actually execution. I had a vision about the kinds of shoes that I wanted but needed it to make sense and tell a story.

How did you start the process?

The process started with tons of creative research.  Then I hired an illustrator to take my designs and inspiration and create the specs that were needed before sourcing leathers and deciding that Florence, Italy, was where I wanted my shoes to be manufactured. I chose Italy because I wanted my consumers to have luxury and quality.  I also have a small team in place in Los Angeles. 

How did you fund your label?

I was in a position in my life where I was able to fund my own label in the early phases. Now, I‘m sourcing investors and additional capital.

How did you learn about what was needed to manufacture, market and sell your shoes?

I am still learning, but every day I speak to my factory. By working closely with them, I learn about the materials needed to manufacture the shoes and I have developed a deeper knowledge of the footwear industry. As a celebrity stylist working in editorial, I am very skilled at marketing myself— that sort of came naturally and I utilize that skill daily when working on my shoes.

What is your best marketing tool for building your brand and attracting clients and customers?

Social Media! I can’t emphasize how important social media is for the growth of my business. I make sure that I attract new clients and customers by teasing through my social media accounts, this allows the anticipation to grow, as well — allows for me to gain a following which ultimately will help with sales.

Looking back over your career, what advice would you give someone?

Wanting to become a fashion stylist — I would tell them to intern and utilize your internship as though it is the job you have already. This allows you to learn and build the connections needed in order to be a successful stylist. Aspiring to become a shoe designer? I would say follow your dream and study the craft in order to create shoes that will be comfortable, stylish and also tell a story. It is important to study the craft that you want to perfect.