MEET THE DESIGNER: ERIKA CARRERO, ELIZEÉ
Elizée’s irresistibly refined, bold, and sensual designs are reshaping the way luxury feels. Inspired by the allure of patterns and colors found in the natural world and the seductive, powerful lines of the feminine form, the brand’s designs celebrate the unique beauty in every woman.
MINI INTERVIEW WITH ERIKA CARRERO
Who or what are your inspirations for creating your Elizée shoes?
Nature is a great inspiration for me, and when I go for hikes or even walks around neighborhood, I pay attention to everything from flowers, to trees, to the sky. I take a lot of pictures, and focus on textures like the grain on beautiful wood, thinking about how that texture would look in leather. The way colors transition in a petal, for example, also inspires me. I love blush, so every time I see a rose in a pink or blush tone, I take many pictures to try to capture the shades. Right before starting the mood board for my first collection, I was in Aspen, and we hiked in these amazing caves that had rocks covered with ice. I was fascinated by them, and those rocks translated into metallics and snakeskin you can see in my first collection. That’s how I managed to go from those rocks at Aspen to the metallics that are so in trend right now. For my first collection I also drew inspiration from the soft cream tones from the sculptures I observed on a recent trip to Italy. Now, for my second collection, I drew inspiration from the Mediterranean. We were on the Italian Riviera and the ocean, with its water almost transparent and sparkling, made me think of transparencies and delicacy, which is something I am bringing to shoes this summer.
What sparked your interest in fashion?
I have always loved fashion. I was influenced by my mother and grandmother who were always very fashionable; my mother even ran errands in pencil skirts and stilettos! I have always admired them not just for fashion, but as strong, independent women who would do anything for their families. When I was at school, and early in my career, I would design my own clothes for special events and work. I loved choosing the fabrics and style. I remember taking one of my grandmother’s velvet gowns to alter into a mini dress.
What is your spirit animal?
Eagle. I am fascinated with the idea of flying and soaring in the sky. Eagles soar to 10000 feet and then dive at great speed and they are symbols of freedom and independence. It all connects with my love of traveling with the idea of adventure. The name of my brand Elizée celebrates the joyful spirit of adventure and vivacity of the modern woman. Elizée is derived from the words alize/alizé, which mean both joyful (in Hebrew) and describes the trade winds (in French) while being a word play on my middle name, Elizabeth (or Eliza which is how my mom playfully calls me sometimes). It is inspired by my love of traveling.
Heel or flat?
Heels!! I love how they make me feel. Heels make me feel empowered and allow me to show my unique style and how I want to express myself on a particular day depending on my mood – sexy, professional, edgy. I usually choose my clothes after I know what style of heels I will be wearing. I am petite, so wearing high heels has always been part of my style. Apart from fashion, heels have also been important for me in the work environment. The fields of software and finance are often dominated by men and this was especially true when I held executive positions where the ratio of men to women was high, so heels allowed me to be taller and have a presence in a room full of men. In those situations, going into a board meeting, heels made me feel more confident, empowered, and not intimidated at all.
Beach or mountain?
Beach! I love how therapeutic and calming the ocean can be. We occasionally rent a beach house that is right by the ocean. Waking up to the sound of the ocean, having breakfast contemplating the waves and taking a walk at the beach with the family is just perfection.