Student Profile - Simona Rusk

Student Profile - Simona Rusk

Simona came to I Can Make Shoes in 2018 and has since launched her very own luxury shoe brand, SIMONA RUSK.

The debut collection, Heirloom, is a tribute to her Mum - inspired by the lavish interiors and beautiful gardens of Britain’s stately homes. Simona has collaborated with UK-based maison Henry Bertrand to develop bespoke brocatelle fabrics for the collection – re-imagining these heritage fabrics in fresh, contemporary colourways.

Read more about her shoe journey here...

Why did you decide to come to one of our courses?

I had just completed a short course on shoe design and illustration and it seemed like the perfect next step to see how an idea and illustration is translated into a physical, wearable shoe. I realised that if I wanted to improve my design skills, I needed to understand the practical side since so much of design is about problem solving.

Why did you start your own shoe brand?

I knew that I wanted to create the most beautiful shoes I could in the hope that the women wearing them would feel beautiful and confident. But the decision to take the risk and start a brand took the confluence of several things: I wore a pair of shoes I had handmade on the ICMS course and was complimented on them. It gave me the confidence to think that what I created might actually appeal to other women as well. I was then incredibly fortunate to find a wonderful mentor who saw my designs and offered to introduce me to manufacturing partners in Italy.

What was your main inspiration for your shoe line?

I created the collection as a tribute to my mother, who passed away unexpectedly. We shared a love of interior design and art – and a passion for shoes. The Heirloom collection is inspired by the lavish interiors and beautiful gardens of Britain’s stately homes. I was very ill a few years ago and would lift my spirits by going to the Wallace collection. I have referenced some of the furnishing details in the delicate trims and fabrics I use, while the signature heel draws inspiration from decorative plasterwork.

What are your next steps?

Our next step is to look at options for retailing the shoes – through luxury wholesalers and boutiques. I really enjoy getting direct feedback from women by doing pop-ups and next year we will be at the National Bridal Fair in Olympia. It makes me so happy when I see a woman trying on a pair of my shoes and I see that glint in her eyes that says it is love at first sight.

What's your favourite shoe to wear personally?

I shall be wearing a pair of the Annabel sandals at our wedding blessing in Australia at the end of this year. But my favourite shoe is the Allegra mule – it is such a statement shoe, but also incredibly comfortable to wear.  

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I created a free 40-minute online course called 'Introduction to Shoemaking' to show how easy home shoemaking can be and to give you a little taste of what I Can Make Shoes is all about.

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free i can make shoes shoemaking course

If you are wanting to dive a little deeper into the world of home shoemaking, my online Footwear Masterclass is one of the most popular shoemaking courses in the world!! 🌍 (Casual brag! lol)

The course covers how to make shoes from scratch including heels, flats, boots, sneakers, sandals, and more. The thing that really sets this course apart from others is that it's specifically designed for total beginners and requires very little in the way of tools & equipment, there's even a bonus module on how to start your own shoe brand. To make getting started even easier, the course comes with a FREE Shoemaking Starter Kit, delivered to your door, anywhere in the world! 🌍

We are a tight community and regularly limit our intake to ensure the best experience for our students - so if our enrolment is closed I would recommend you sign up for our FREE Introduction to Shoemaking course while you wait.

Happy Shoemaking, Amanda xx

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