Luxury shoe designer and shoemaker Ganesia Wveighlin of Caesar Walks had the vision to change the narrative of how consumers viewed luxury shoe designers. At 29, Ganesia created Caesar Walks Co. and launched its brand with Saint Plousious loafer collection, a handmade Italian velour fabric loafer paired with an exquisite red silk insole.
Avant-garde, bold, desirable, expressive, and unorthodox are just a few adjectives to describe the Caesar Walks brand. Combining elegance and innovative materials, Caesar Walks shoes make your feet feel a part of the shoe design. Educated in economics and inspired by fashion and art, Wveighlin has used her education and creativity to create a show brand successfully.
One of the youngest shoe designers on the list of luxury footwear brands, at 31, Wveighlin is positioning herself among iconic brands like Christian Louboutin, Gucci, and Balenciaga.
BlackEnterprise.com had the opportunity to talk with Wveighlin about her inspiration, design process, and how important the recognition of African craftsmanship is in the footwear design industry.
What is the inspiration behind Caesar Walks?
I was first inspired to create designs that I wanted to wear myself. What keeps me inspired was knowing there is a need for representation in the industry. Having a seat at the table and eating from it is paramount not only for my success but for the success of others.
What goes into the design process of your RTW footwear?
I want our shoes to be like no other, so there is a lot that goes into a single design for our brand. There is the conceptual design phase, where I illustrate what is in my mind. What follows is the materials and details phase. Then there is a series of prototyping, sampling, tweaking, more sampling, and then production. After sampling, I average about 3-4 adjustments until I feel it’s perfect.
How are you differentiating your products and brand within the luxury footwear marketplace?
Our unique designs differentiate us. When you see our latest combat boot collection, the creative design process of this collection is detailed to the gold aglets for the shoelaces. There is no other combat boot designed like this to date. I take pride in our attention to detail.
How important is the recognition of African craftsmanship in the world of fashion?
Africa is one of the most diverse continents. Every country has its unique style, expression, and twang. Africa has been overlooked for its craftsmanship for centuries, and it’s way past overdue that African artisans get the recognition they have been deserving. It’s important to invest in Africa’s creative industries so that Africa can continue to integrate. It’s home to my ancestors and everyone, a part of the African diaspora. Caesar Walks will be launching its Spring 2022 sandal collection with South African shoemakers to create more jobs in local townships. This will also help stimulate their local economy.
What key pieces of advice do you have for those who want to break into this industry?
My advice would be to do it because you love it. The “love” will sustain you through the low and high points on the business curve. Think of breaking into this industry as a fun adventure. If you don’t, you will become a slave to it and may lose your desire to innovate further.