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Style Flex featured in InsideKent magazine

Inside Kent and Inside Sussex have featured our bestselling winter shoe, style Flex! 

Perfect christmas gift to give to your loved ones this christmas, an easy wearing black patent with a feminine touch of wine laces. 

The Esska Party Shoe for Christmas

So the party season is upon us, whether it is work christmas parties, drinks or even preparing for new years eve. We have different styles to match the different moods... all with a touch of sparkle..
 

Our statement party must-have this season is style Zadie, a slip on boot with a comfy, stacked heel. The metallic adds shimmer to your outfit and is sure to turn heads.

We will be wearing ours with skinny jeans or an oversized dress.

If the party is a little more casual, then opt for our flats and mid heels, all have a touch of glitter..

Esska Studio and sample sale!

So we have planned another Sale in our Studio!
We will have our new and previous winter collections in a variety of sizes (from 35 to 42), so if you want to try before you buy just come over. And of course lots of bargains. 
Additionally we will have our famous sample sale, all samples are size 37/4 and everything must go...
Open from 9am to 5pm.
Bus 266 stops right under our office, and North Acton station (central line) is 2 minutes away.

Team Esska at Drapers & BFA Micam Reception

Meet team Esska! We were featured in this weeks Drapers Magazine, photographed at the Drapers and BFA Micam reception after a successful day showing the new SS17 collection!

AW16 Photoshoot behind the scenes!

So all the way back in February we had a busy month in preparation for our AW16 photo shoot (which you can buy online now). We had our faithful photographer Natalie Watts behind the camera and our beautiful model Iryna, the shoot was all about colour (a hell of alot of painting!) and showing the shoes for what they are. We hope you love the collection just as much as we do, especially as they are now made in Portugal! (Hope we haven't mentioned that too much!)

How to wear the new A/W collection!

As the last of the summer sun is upon us, we all start to cling onto our sandals before the rain and cold start to set in. At the Esska office we have been choosing our go to shoes from our brand new collection, whether you are working, doing the school run or just ready to let your hair down! All available on our website and in a range of sizes, which style will you be buying this autumn?

SS16 Sandals in production!

Back in January these were our lovely SS16 collection finished and ready to be packed! What an array of summery colours!

Behind the scenes: SS16 Photoshoot

Last week things were full speed ahead at the Esska office with the team busily preparing for our SS16 photo shoot. With the talented Natalie J Watts behind the camera, the shoot was all about contemporary, clean lines and minimalism. We can’t wait to share the collection with you next summer but for now here are some exclusive behind the scenes photos.

  • Morning coffee and inspiring mood boards helped start the busy day Morning coffee and inspiring mood boards helped start the busy day
  • Esska designer Noura Mokhtar helps find the perfect outfit for each pair of shoes Esska designer Noura Mokhtar helps find the perfect outfit for each pair of shoes
  • Our lovely model Iryna and photographer Natalie discuss poses and placement in our contemporary backdrop Our lovely model Iryna and photographer Natalie discuss poses and placement in our contemporary backdrop
  • Natalie goes in for a close up to capture each and every detail Natalie goes in for a close up to capture each and every detail

Esska's East london shop visits

Esska's director Souraya with Mudfoot & Scruff owner Norbert

Yesterday, Esska’s Creative director & Brand manager, visited 3 Esska stockists in East London. It was such a beautiful day and it was great for the Esska team to meet some of their loyal fans, see the fabulous shops and receive some helpful feedback. The only problem was all the wonderful clothes the boutiques sold, the team had to try and stay focussed and remember they were not there to shop :)

They visited Mudfoot & scruff on Stoke Newington Church Street, Sublime on Victoria Park Road and Black Truffle on Broadway Market. For the final stop at Black truffle, Esska’s director Souraya gave an inspiring talk about her journey from a footwear design student to a successful business owner.

Check out the pics from the day and the event at Black Truffle…..

  • Esska in the Mudfoot & Scruff window Esska in the Mudfoot & Scruff window
  • Esska in Mudfoot & Scruff Esska in Mudfoot & Scruff
  • A quick pit stop for refreshments in the sun :) A quick pit stop for refreshments in the sun :)
  • Sublime shop on Victoria Park Road Sublime shop on Victoria Park Road
  • Esska in Sublime Esska in Sublime
  • Sublime Sublime
  • Black Truffle in Broadway Market Black Truffle in Broadway Market
  • Esska customers trying on shoes in Black Truffle Esska customers trying on shoes in Black Truffle
  • Esska's director & designer Souraya with fellow designer Lyndsy from Miss L fire Esska's director & designer Souraya with fellow designer Lyndsy from Miss L fire
  • Souraya giving her talk at Black truffle Souraya giving her talk at Black truffle

Our ELDS picks

The East London Design show has come to an end... we had a lovely time and were so happy to hear customers came especially to buy themselves a new pair of Esska shoes!! Every year we have so much fun, and we meet so many nice people visiting. Also, it gives us a chance to look out for Christmas presents and treat ourselves too! The ELDS is the perfect place to find out about new little brands and their products. Our neighbouring stand was Epoh-Ireti, they make scented candles from only organic ingredients, the packaging is biodegradable and even the labels are printed with soy ink! And of course they smell amazing; our personal favourite is the subtle aroma 'Vanilla & Black pepper'.

Something completely different now, pizza! Uuni sells wood-fired ovens for outdoor use, perfect for in the garden or to bring on a camping trip. Ours has already been delivered, so we know what's on the menu today!!

As you probably know by now, here at Esska, we love our geometric shapes and there are plenty to find at Sophie Home on the cushions and throws, we love the boldness of the prints & colours, a couple of those would definitely suit our office!

Next, we completely fell in love with the 'tools' from jewellery brand Whitebeam Studio, the charms even come in a cute little toolbox! They should add some shoe making tools to their range, don't you agree?

At the end of the show the lovely people from The Flour Station gave us some mince pies, and my oh my, they must be the best mince pies we've ever tasted. Luckily they have a stand at various food markets all around London, need to get us some!

We are already looking forward to next year’s edition!

SS15 photoshoot

Tuesday we shot our SS15 collection. For the first time we did a studio shoot! That was very new and exciting (and stressful!!) for us, but we've already been given a sneak preview of the end result and the photos look amazing! Exactly what we had in mind, it's great!! We would like to thank the team for the good work: 'Well done Esska team!', and of course our photographer Natalie who did a wonderful job as usual and gorgeous model Khiley!!

It was nice meeting you at our pop up event!

Last week we had our 1 day pop up event at the Crown & Anchor W4, it was a true hit! We were very excited and had such a lovely time meeting our Esska 'fans'. Everyone was in a happy and relaxed mood and Sharon McCoy's cakes and savoury treats were a real joy!

An interview with Esska's designer...

In the wonderful blog 'Diary of an interior novist' Esska's designer Souraya Karami is interviewed about her career timeline.

Check out her inspiring story here...

SS14 production

Our lovely summer 2014 sandals in full production!

Busy bees...

SS14 colour board

Busy busy busy at Esska HQ! Our SS14 collection can arrive any minute now (we can't wait to put our lovely sandals on, come on sun!!), and we are hopping from trade show to trade show to present our next autumn/winter collection (Souraya is currently at FN Platform in Las Vegas, please don't gamble all our money away...) and then last but not least, we are currently designing SS15 (WOOHOO!!).

Hoping you are as impatient as we are for our summer '14 collection, we would like to show you our colour board, aren't they just the freshest looking colours?? Such nice pastels and metallics (our rose gold is to die for!). It's a palette of sweets, are your feet getting all excited as ours? We will be launching the collection end of Feb, stay tuned!!

 

Paris, je t'aime!

The trade show season has started and our first stop was Who's Next in our beloved Paris. It was 4 days of much work but we did make sure there was plenty left for fun and relaxation! In the evenings we enjoyed the French cuisine and 'Chez Fernand' met all our expectations, a lovely cosy bistro with excellent food and wine...

But as mentioned there was also work that had to be done, we showed our AW14 winter collection and had a lot of positive feedback. This makes us happy to hear and to know we did a good job! Again, our metallic leathers were a big hit together with our textured leathers.

We also spotted some lovely products at the show like T1MEPEACE 'watches' from German brand Reytan. And if you are looking for well designed and practical bags have a look at the French brand Craie.

On our way back home on the Eurostar we ended the trip in style with 'du pain, du vin et du boursin' and much more...

Our next stop will be Pure in our hometown London, very curious what the Brits will have to say about our collection!

 

AW14/15 Photoshoot: behind the scene

We are super excited about our autumn/winter 2014-15 photoshoot in the beautiful setting of The Oak W12. It was such an exciting and fun day and therefore we wanted to share this with you! You will see some behind the scene photos of the photographer in action with our model and... our little model Mia, Souraya's little girl who joined us (you can't start loving shoes young enough!). It was a day of decision making such as which socks with what colour shoes and trousers or tights??? Although we did our homework and arrived fully prepared, we always end up making changes and improvising, but that's part of the fun. Now, we are waiting to get the shoot pics, very curious to see how they turned out. But before we can share those with you, we have our summer/spring 2014 coming next month, so stay tuned to see shots of those soon!!

East London Design Show, it's over...

We had a great time at the ELDS meeting some very lovely customers and exhibitors. And of course, jewellery lovers as we are, we bought ourselves some pretty nice pieces! But it wasn't all shiny what we liked, there were so many lovely products, we didn't know where to begin looking. With a much bigger venue as well, 40 extra exhibitors participated, it was the perfect place to do our christmas shopping.

 

If you missed ELDS, don't worry, most of the participants have an online shop.

Here are some of our favourites:

1. Muru, 2. Threedom, 3. Wolfram Lohr, 4. The Journal Shop

At the factory

Souraya in action at the factory working on our Autumn Winter 14/15 collection.

Ghost Gold - a first outing!

Naadu from the Esska office is wearing her Gold Ghost's for the first time this Spring! Who cares if it's grey and a little chilly when feet can look this pretty?

Behind the scenes....Micam tradeshow Milan

Esska stand at Micam Tradeshow. www.esska.co.uk

Last week Esska showed at Micam Tradeshow once again in Milan to showcase our AW13/14 collection! We had a fabulous time as always meeting new and existing clients and talking them through our collection. We loved our new look stand that was in the International designers area had a great time mingling with other footwear brands from the UK. Aside from all the hard work we also found time to enjoy the delights of Milan and had some fun (of course!).....here are some of our pics from our trip, see you next time Milan.

  • Our new look stand in the international designers area. www.esska.co.uk Our new look stand in the international designers area. www.esska.co.uk
  • We came across this amazing colourful fruit & veg stall in the heart of Milan. We came across this amazing colourful fruit & veg stall in the heart of Milan.
  • Mucche & Buoi restaurant Mucche & Buoi restaurant
  • We visited Mucche & Buoi on our last trip & loved it so we went back to this great steak restaurant away from the tourist part of Milan in Via Clerici. The decor is great and so is the food. We visited Mucche & Buoi on our last trip & loved it so we went back to this great steak restaurant away from the tourist part of Milan in Via Clerici. The decor is great and so is the food.
  • Victoria restaurant - http://www.victoriaristorante.it/ Victoria restaurant - http://www.victoriaristorante.it/
  • The Victoria restaurant is a charming place in the heart of Milan. It has a french feel and the decor has an art Noveau influence. We had a lot of fun and almost felt too full to go to the British Footwear Association party! The Victoria restaurant is a charming place in the heart of Milan. It has a french feel and the decor has an art Noveau influence. We had a lot of fun and almost felt too full to go to the British Footwear Association party!
  • And after a long day it was always nice to take advantage of the free drinks! And after a long day it was always nice to take advantage of the free drinks!

Behind the scenes… Next winter’s collection showed in Paris.

Yes!! we have designed our Autumn Winter 2013/14 collection, received the samples, did our photoshoot, and started selling!! I just can’t believe how fast the whole cycle is…

Our first trade show was in Paris, at the famous ‘Premiere Classe’, part of ‘Who’s next’. It was me and Noura who went to Paris. I really had to go, so I can make sure the French wine and food standards have not changed.

Here is our little journey, and the start of a fantastic selling season.

  • I took the Eurostar at 6am. (and slept nearly all the way). It was snowing and snowing and snowing. I took the Eurostar at 6am. (and slept nearly all the way). It was snowing and snowing and snowing.
  • We set up the stand, and managed to squeeze around 50 styles into a 2mx2m stand! We set up the stand, and managed to squeeze around 50 styles into a 2mx2m stand!
  • The best surprise was that we had FREE coupons for the champagne bar!!! The best surprise was that we had FREE coupons for the champagne bar!!!
  • The proof! The proof!
  • First day over, orders taken, stand packed, off to the streets of Paris... First day over, orders taken, stand packed, off to the streets of Paris...
  • Our friends from Kirsten Goss proposed this French Bistrot, and yes yes yes, it was amazing. Our friends from Kirsten Goss proposed this French Bistrot, and yes yes yes, it was amazing.
  • Of course, so very French, a bookshop right next to our restaurant. Of course, so very French, a bookshop right next to our restaurant.
  • Oh!!! what's this picture of my kids doing here? Oh well, now that have found it among the photos, this is them having lunch at Carluccios in London while I was working (very hard) in Paris. Their dad asked them to smile for mummy!! Oh!!! what's this picture of my kids doing here? Oh well, now that have found it among the photos, this is them having lunch at Carluccios in London while I was working (very hard) in Paris. Their dad asked them to smile for mummy!!
  • Ok, Paris again. Our last night there, we went to a nice Korean Barbecue restaurant in the 2eme, called Guibine. Local, and very yummy. Ok, Paris again. Our last night there, we went to a nice Korean Barbecue restaurant in the 2eme, called Guibine. Local, and very yummy.
  • On the way back to the flat, we saw a chinese restaurant, that had an 'interesting' window display. They probably thought this is the easiest way to explain what's in the dishes!!! On the way back to the flat, we saw a chinese restaurant, that had an 'interesting' window display. They probably thought this is the easiest way to explain what's in the dishes!!!

Behind the scenes… New Winter 13 samples arrived

The most exciting time of the season is here. Oh and the scariest!!! This is when the factory sends the development samples with my chosen colours and leathers. So here I am, opening boxes, and expecting one of two reactions: ‘Woooow this is great!’ or…. ‘Oh my God!! what was I on when I chose those colours???

Luckily, this season, the second reaction only happened with two styles. I just love to go crazy with colours. And then I love looking back at the shoe, laughing, and trying to convince everyone else in the office that it is a ‘show’ piece and not necessarily the best seller , rather than admitting it is actually simple madness. Hmmm… Am I telling you too much here?

For now, I really want to tell you that the range looks great. The colours are deep and rich, and for those wanting Tan, believe me you are getting Tan!!! Here are some pictures of me checking them all out, trying them on (oh yes, I am sample size!!), and finalizing colours and details.

Oh, even my 2 year old daughter ‘Mia’ made it to the office and tried some boots on!!!

Behind the Scenes… My trip the the factory

Hello everyone. This is my FIRST blog post!!! I am so excited (and freaked). Right, I want to tell you about my trip to the factory last month. I was working on our new Autumn Winter 2013/2014 collection. It is looking greaaaaat!!! We will get a glimpse of it next week when we receive our development samples!!

So how does it work?? Well… It all starts with the ‘Last’. The shape that you make the shoe on. The last defines the toe shape and also the heel height. For next winter, we have some flats, some low heels, looooads of mid heels, and few high heels. I have worked on some new shapes and constructions. They look fantastic.

I love every minute I spend at the factory. From last making, to choosing leathers and colours, and all what comes in between… and yes, of course it is not always a smooth ride, specially when the factory is late with something and I have to catch my flight, but really need to see that sample before I go!! panic spreads… but then it is all worth it!

Esska Shoes

Souraya Karami was born in Lebanon, and early on decided she wanted to become an architect. She got her bachelor's degree in architecture, and spent several years practising in Lebanon, but after finding it difficult to find shoes that were comfortable as well as beautiful, she decided to change professions and coupled with an enduring passion for shoes, moved to London and proceeded to get her degree in footwear design at Cordwainer’s at the London College of Fashion. With a little experience under her belt, she opened her business, Esska, out of her flat in East London, in June 2006.

Souraya's background in architecture is clearly apparent in her reference to streets, buildings, and colour when applied to shoe design. Her main goal was that shoes be equally comfortable and stylish, and she quickly became known for her use of bold colours, as well as a very organic silhouette. Her three primary objectives, when it comes to shoe design, are geometry, interlacing, and layering. All her footwear is made of leather, and because her company prides itself on remaining a small brand, she strives to keep her shoes unique, from a flat to a mid-heel. A main element of her designs is that looking good should make you feel good, and vice versa. She strongly believes that the two go hand in hand.

Two of her most popular winter styles are the Hoola boot, made of a limited-edition metallic gold, and featuring a 60mm stacked heel, and the Hanya boot, also with a 60 mm stacked heel and available in a wide range of fall and winter shades; Hanya petrol, yellow, black patent, aubergine patent, and chestnut. All styles come with an anti-slip rubber sole.

Another of Souraya's most popular styles, especially for the party season, is the platform Twist black patent lace-up. With a leather-covered heel, and its trademark all-leather construction, this glamorous shoe will keep you on your feet in style and comfort all night long. The Beli flat, in black, dark green and aubergine, is the ultimate practical flat, offering supreme comfort and super -chic style, also made of leather, it has a non-slip rubber sole. This is the perfect pair to pop into a bag for a quick change after a super-long dance party; you will never have to sacrifice style for comfort. To add an updated look to your everyday work outfits, the Lim Collection is a stylish choice. While incorporating all the classic elements of the court shoe, the Lim pump, with its 65mm heel, is fully lined in sock leather, with a rubberized sole, to make your work day that much more stress-free. It comes in an elegant selection of colours, including yellow, black, and petrol, with a hit of colour accenting the cone-shaped heel.

Esska footwear has been steadily gaining in popularity, and is now sold in over 200 boutiques worldwide, from European countries such as Germany and France, to Scandinavia, and the United States. Souraya was recently nominated as Draper's magazine's UK designer of the year.

iFabbo & Street Stylish

Last weekend, we were invited to participate in the ifabbo conference, which was held at the fabolous Kettner’s.

With many great panellists waxing lyrical about social media, fashion etc, we all watched and listened with interest, and had a great time.

We also spotted the blogger Arianna Power from Street Stylish wearing our brilliant WIG wedge sandals.

Some photos of the amazing event below.

Esska’s life

There are many things happening at Esska’s HQ at the moment!!

We went to Vegas at the Magic/ Platform trade show for the AW1213 collection - I know! We just launched our SS12!!

On the following week we had another great trade show Micam in Italy, and now finally we representing the brand at the GDS trade show in Germany. We also have been to Premiere Classe in Paris, Pure in London and Moda in Birmingham. Busy, busy time.

Whilst this all going on, we had the new arrivals from our SS12 collection.

We are so glad with the adorable comments we have been receiving on the collections on our Facebook page. Do you have a ‘must have’ pair?

Stock will be limited as usual, and we cannot guarantee to replenish any stock that sells out! Check our stand in Micam on the photo above. Sorry for the poor quality of this pic, as I took with my mobile.

Milano – Getting around

Last week, we went to Milan for Micam (see post below). Milano is a busy city, and we were a bit busy there too. So, after the trade show, we could enjoy amazing Italian food, and also breath some history.

One of the eve’s we went to eat in a nice restaurant called Mucche & Buoi, one of the specialities there is meat. We’ve tried an amazing and traditional Fiorentin steak. There’s also nice salad options, as caprese one, of you are a veggie, or just don’t eat meat. They have great italian wines on their list, too.

Mucche & Buoi Ristorante

We’ve also seem some cute elephants from the Elephant Parade, that has just started in Milan.

Elephant Parade Milan

Micam 2011

Last week we’ve participated of Micam trade fair in Milan, we had a lovely stand for Esska at the visitors section.

Micam Shoevent, the leading international footwear exhibition, is held twice a year in Milan in the new fairgrounds of Rho Fiera, offering a preview of the spring/summer and autumn/winter collections of the following year. And we were presenting our SS12 collection. Exciting!