They say that good shoes take you to good places, but for Daissy Ornelas, the glamorous architecturally influenced shoes of her eponymous brand are certainly taking her to some pretty awe-inspiring places as a Girl Boss on a league of her own.
Daissy combines architectural inspirations with Italian craftsmanship to create her vibrant line of footwear. More akin to sculptures than shoes, all of Daissy’s pieces are handmade in Italy and evoke the spirit of the Art Deco movement.
Team Coco caught up with Daissy in Los Angeles, in between balancing being a mum, designer, entrepreneur and creative to talk about her joint love for footwear and architecture, her latest collection, and her advice for women looking to take the leap and start their own businesses.
“First and foremost, it’s not for everyone,” she says. “Keep your eye on the bigger picture and always remember why you’re in it in the first place helps when things go awry.”
Like the towering skyscrapers that inspire her collections, Daissy is reaching for the skies – and we can’t wait to see what heights this Girl Boss will reach.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. What made you fall in love with shoes?
I grew up in Los Angeles. I studied Business Administration and most of my background is in Management and Administration. I worked in industries such as Consulting, Architecture and Fashion. I’m currently splitting my time between LA and the UK.
My love for shoes started around at the same time as my love of Art Deco. When I was young, my mom and I would go to downtown LA on Saturday mornings to go shoe shopping and then we would have lunch at the iconic Clifton’s cafeteria, it was our weekend ritual. It was there when I first paid attention to the many Art Deco exteriors and interiors that live in Downtown LA. The impeccable attention to detail always stood out to me, even at such a young age.
How is Daisy Ornelas combining architectural influences with Italian craftsmanship?
Growing up in Los Angeles, I got to see buildings with unique details and luxurious materials, and the more I started traveling, the more I fell in love with architecture and its evolutionary traits.
Once I knew I wanted to launch my own line of shoes, I knew Italy was the place to make it happen. Italian craftsmanship is something the country takes a great deal of pride in, and for good reason. I have met people who come from generations of shoe artisans, who love to work with their hands and really put love and effort in what they do. It’s something I will always admire and appreciate. I’m combining architectural influences by using architectural techniques like CAD and engineering processes to create patent-pending heels that showcase structural lines and facades you see in architecture.
Tell us more about your latest collection. Do you have a favourite piece?
The latest collection is influenced by modern architecture and its detailed shapes. I have seen different techniques and materials used around the world to create exceptional buildings and I just felt inspired by the fluidity in shapes and textures.
The Wavelet heel sandal is my absolute favorite. It was inspired by the spiral Architecture of the F&F tower in Panama, the Evolution Tower in Moscow, and the Al Tijaria Tower in Kuwait. There’s something about the Wavelet heel that screams architecture but not in an overstated way.
Walk us through an average day in the Daissy Ornelas atelier
I am a mom to an eight-month-old and a 14 year old. I get to work from wherever I may be at the time. From reading to research and from inspiration to design, I do everything on my laptop or phone.
So, my day consists of jumping back and forth between looking after my eight-month-old to responding to emails, getting on a call with my counterpart in Milan to making sure I pick up my son from school and grab a bite to eat in-between all of that (if possible).
Who is the Daissy Ornelas woman? Can you describe her in three words?
The Daissy Ornelas woman is a maximalist. She is someone who has a career in creative industries (i.e. Fashion architecture, interior design, graphic design), isn’t afraid of statement pieces and can appreciate unconventional designs versus picking things that are more every day wear. She loves to travel and always picks the shoe first before she picks out the dress when going out. She is daring, confident and creative.
What has been the biggest challenge you‘ve faced as an entrepreneur so far?
There have been many challenges along the way. Financially speaking, when you create a startup, finding financial resources can be difficult, especially for a brand that is positioning itself in the luxury market. Until the brand is scalable, it’s hard to find investors who will back up the brand and take it where you want it to go.
What’s next for you and Daissy Ornelas? Any new exciting projects in the pipeline
Daissy Ornelas is coming out with a casual collection. The whole collection is made of sustainable materials including vegan leathers. We also put our own spin on 1930’s classic Oxfords and Loafers.
What advice do you have for those looking to take the leap and start their own businesses too?
First and foremost, it’s not for everyone. It’s extremely hard work. You also have to be consistent because everything falls on you. Keep your eye on the bigger picture and always remember why you’re in it in the first place helps when things go awry. Because things will go awry at some point. Do your research well on what product or service you want to offer and go for it!