Anna Deans is a writer for Lucire.
Australian shoe label Sol Sana caught Anna Deans’s eye for its fashion-forward approach and its luxury touches at an affordable price. She talks to its creator, Sara Caverley
In 2010, Sol Sana emerged as a new Australian footwear label. Designer and creator Sara Caverley (right) says of its inception: ‘It was an obvious gap in the market [that] gave me the idea of creating wearable styles in high-quality materials that wouldn’t break the bank. I just got sick of paying premium prices for shoes that I would only get one season’s wear out of.’
The mid-price point places Sol Sana in a market between luxe Aussie footwear label Beau Coops and the cheaper Windsor Smith. Caverley continues to incorporate high-quality leather and trims, and wants her footwear to look high-end in design while still being comfortable enough for day-to-day wear.
Even though her decision to position Sol Sana in the middle of the market price-wise was borne out of frustration, Caverley has read market trends accurately. It’s the same approach that saw Hennes & Mauritz start its designer collaboration ranges in the mid-2000s, translated in a more focused and fashion-forward way to the shoe market.
Her footwear collections for Sol Sana over the last three, nearly four, years could be accurately described as ‘Bold, fun and sometimes a little crazy’—her words—and over this time, her design integrity has strengthened.
There is an additional element to Caverley’s approach—the use of the vintage vibe. It’s not simply driven by a love of the old—all that would do is drive a designer to re-create the past. In terms of æsthetic, she brings together both old and new to create something exceptional. ‘The way I incorporate vintage into my ranges really starts at the developmental stages of each range,’ she says. ‘I always look for inspiration in vintage stores as I love seeing how trends come back into fashion.’ This is a designer who is anticipating the market by understanding history, on top of understanding what her brand stands for.
The high summer range from Sol Sana incorporates exquisitely elegant, simple strapped stilettos in neutral tones, as well as more quirky fun styles such as leopard-print, strappy wooden-soled clogs. Among our favourites were the strappy silver high heels featured in the campaign shoot.
Caverley says her inspiration for her high summer collection ‘really revolves around simplicity.’ She continues, ‘I have used clean lines and simple shapes with added metallic and sports luxe highlights for a high-end feel.’
She’s completely on trend with the simpler, cleaner approach, and admits that she has a love of Scandinavian labels when it comes to clothing—as well as being ‘a sucker for local Aussie labels: Bassike, Camilla and Marc, Ginger and Smart’.
Her preference for a mixture of local and international brands for her own dress would help a designer transcend local expectations when it comes to her own creativity—something which we feel is spot-on for the 2010s. Being on-trend, too, has helped Caverley take Sol Sana into 100 stockists within her native Australia, and in New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, Germany, Austria, France, Israel, the US and the UK.
It’s a winning formula, and Sol Sana seems set to continue winning over new supporters with each season. •
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