The unique collections of Freya Rose’s eponymous label incorporate her knowledge of fine jewellery to create luxurious, jewelled shoes, using precious materials such as mother of pearl, brass and sterling silver. In this interview, we spend time with the lady herself as we discuss how she is fast becoming regarded as one of the UK’s leading shoe couturiers and what the next steps are for the brand.
Freya Rose London began in 2010 through a £3,000 loan that Freya Rose received from the Prince’s Trust and ever since has grown organically to become an international business without investment. The jewellery industry has been in Freya’s DNA since an early age through her mother, the international award-winning fine jewellery designer, Barbara Tipple and her step father who is a master goldsmith.
“When I started the business over a decade ago, I dreamed of creating world-respected shoe designs that would be worn by the most celebrated, style-revered women,” explains Freya Rose, Founder of Freya Rose London. “Over the last few years, I also launched a demi-fine jewellery line and my pieces have been worn by figures including the Princess of Wales, Rihanna, Olivia Palermo and Kate Moss.”
Today Freya Rose London is stocked in over 25 stores worldwide, which includes a number of prestigious stores such as Harvey Nichols, while the company has also launched a boutique showroom space in Chelsea, London.
As the company continues to go from strength to strength with their e-commerce, the next few years will see their primary focus shift to furthering their international expansion and developing their global and business-to-business strategy.
Over 60 per cent of their current sales are credited to the US, which particularly excites the company as the market has a proven interest and love for their product, especially within California, New York and Texas.
“I have also established a few royal clients within the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia over the years; our unique, innovative and opulent use of mother of pearl on our jewelled heels is an aesthetic that particularly resonates with the region. We see the GCC as a key market to explore. Back in March I attended the Retail Summit at the Atlantis with hopes of attaining opportunities for Freya Rose within the GCC and we are now in discussion with a number of potential buyers and distributors,” Rose highlights.
In addition to this, they are in the process of setting up distribution in the US and Europe to facilitate the growth of their omni-channel business as they are launching with world renowned department stores Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy’s in the coming weeks.
The founder works closely alongside her skilled team of artisans, continuously exploring new alchemistic techniques and materials that push the boundaries of design. Her creations are unique investment pieces and because they are handcrafted, no two pairs will ever be the same. Their process showcases an unparalleled artistry and craftsmanship passed down and honed through generations. She and the team are continuously looking for ways to push the boundaries of design and Rose remains focused on how she can further develop the business.
Discussing social media, Rose feels that it is pivotal to the success of any business as it holds the power to discover and connect with customers. She goes on to say that no matter your business, products or values, social media offers every brand the chance to establish themselves as a thought leader and connect directly with their desired audience and communicate their authentic voice and values.
“The platform offers the ability to showcase the humanity behind brands, which is a must in the modern world as consumer attitudes have shifted tremendously. They now seek storytelling and purpose over a materialistic item. We have connected with many brand advocates via social media and truly cherish the community we’ve established within this space. Now we all appreciate that new platforms and social trends constantly emerge, such as increased content – we’re always moving with the tide with open ears, to keep our Freya Rose London content current and exciting,” says Rose.
As the interview moves onto the topic of sustainability, the Founder points out that she is a huge advocate of slow fashion and that ethically produced designs are integral to her brand’s philosophy. She carries on by saying the provenance and traceability of the materials used in her designs and the people she works with are fundamental to her business philosophy. One of her most significant materials is nacre (mother of pearl) – a material that is actually in abundance as a mollusc doesn’t always create a pearl and the shell can be disregarded.
“As a small business we have an ambitious long view to be continuously better. There is much to learn and we will continue to research and develop our products in the most ethical and sustainable way. We will continue to be open and honest with ourselves and our customers,” Rose comments.
Freya Rose London has redefined British modern luxury with creations that are a marriage of shoes and jewellery. They create shoes that are sculptural, wearable works of art that transcend the boundaries of design whilst reflecting the wearer’s individuality. No two pairs are ever the same and their ultimate philosophy is to create beautiful wearable works of art that can be treasured forever and it is for these reasons that Rose feels the brand has achieved a high level of success in quite a short space of time.
“Looking to the future, I am excited to develop our jewelled bag collection, to introduce more pieces influenced by my passion for art and sculpture and I am looking forward to developing the physical presence of Freya Rose London around the world, watch this space.”