Toronto label Zvelle is about more than just making much-sought-after shoes and accessories. Rather, Zvelle goods exist in a world beyond fashion’s season-to-season system, resulting in beautiful pieces that will endure for years in style and quality. According to founder and creative director Elle AyoubZadeh, “It’s our own take on sustainability.” We chatted with Elle to find out more, and to hear the tea on the latest launch: a ballet sneaker that’s going to be a spring must-have for every shoe collection. —Vita Daily
Hi Elle! Please tell us a bit about yourself to start.
I am a global citizen, lover of books and culture, doting dog mom to my six-year-old American cocker spaniel Chilby, designer, creative, passionate about well-crafted products especially shoes and handbags, storyteller and someone who loves her family, life and work. I’m also the founder, CEO and creative director of Zvelle.
When and why did you launch Zvelle? What products do you offer and what makes brand unique?
I launched Zvelle in 2015 to marry two of my passions: creating well-crafted and unique accessories and my desire to modernize the way women’s stories are portrayed in fashion. Our mission at Zvelle is to inspire women to walk how they want. Our Walk How You Want manifesto says it all. Right now, we make beautiful, well-crafted shoes and handbags that you can buy now and wear in five years’ time. We’re inspired by classics and we focus on styles that you will want to keep in your closet forever. That’s also sustainable. What makes us unique is our point of view and the lens through which we create products and tell stories through each of them.
You just launched your first “ballet sneaker,” the Rayna. Tell us about the shoe, and the inspiration behind designing it. (Where does the name Rayna come from?)
Rayna is the name of the first style I designed and it has our now-signature “upside-down heart” symbol. The number five in the Persian language, Panj, looks like an upside-down heart. The Rayna ballet sneaker is a combination of two silhouettes: a ballet pump and a 1970s-inspired sneaker. I love the flexibility, femininity and comfort of this style. I was inspired to create a sneaker style that was chic and elegant, like all Zvelle styles.
Who is the Rayna ballet sneaker for? Your top tips on styling it?
Everyone. It’s a beautiful style that anyone can wear and it’s very comfortable right out of the box. Wear it with anything that you feel comfortable and confident in, from your favourite dress, to dressy trousers and a silk blouse, to jeans and a blazer. It comes in eight bold colour styles, from metallic rose gold to chic black and white to a combination of red and pink.
How do you support women and our health-care heroes through your Walk How You Want campaign.
Through our Walk How You Want campaign, our Zvelle In Conversation series and our storytelling through our products we are relaying different stories about women in ways women have not yet been portrayed. For too long society has dictated what women can and can’t do including how they should and shouldn’t look. Brands have also taken advantage of this and used it to sell products to women that feed into this circle that does not benefit women. We are not a brand that dictates what women should do or shouldn’t do, we like to tell stories of women who are walking how they want and that is very individual to them and inspiring. By sharing these stories we are changing the narrative and inspiring women to walk how they want and that means different things to different people. That’s the beauty of it. We have a culture of philanthropy and have had a long relationship with Women’s College Hospital Foundation. I served on the board for over three years. With Women’s, we supported women’s health and women in the health-care sector. With our Healthcare Heroes campaign, we wanted to celebrate women on the front lines in health-care from support workers to sanitation and cleaning professionals to doctors and nurses. We did that by sending them a pair of beautiful Zvelle shoes. We asked people to nominate their health-care heroes and we shared these nominations across all our social platforms as well as through our email newsletters. The simple act of nominating is a generous one that made both the person nominating and the nominee feel great and that itself was very uplifting.
Which style of Rayna ballet sneaker are you currently rocking?
Right now I am wearing the Oro Metallizzatto.