If you’ve kept up with social media lately, then you’ve probably been introduced to a host of new Black-owned fashion brands over the last few months, many of which haven’t been getting the recognition they deserve from the industry.
Newly-launched spaces like Zerina Aker’s Black Owned Everything and George Sully’s Black Designers of Canada Index have been curated solely to showcase the work of Black creatives in design. These up-and-coming platforms have given much-needed visibility to many small, overlooked businesses.
One of those hidden gems is the luxury shoe line, BYDOSE. The UK-based brand is garnering attention due to its most recent style launch, the AURUM sandal. The sleek heel features the on-trend thong wedge, minimalistic straps, and a stand-out gold, lambskin leather. The result is clean cut shoe styles, heavily focused on comfort and wearable designs that you can pair with anything, from a little black dress to jeans and a t-shirt. Coupled with the brand’s alluring aesthetic, it promises luxury, even as the brand remains in its’ early stage of growth.
“I like making things that you can always wear and grab at any time,” Founder and Creative Director of BYDOSE, Dian tells ESSENCE. “I want to change the narrative that comfort can’t be sexy.” In March 2019, BYDOSE launched its Snake Lace shoe and it quickly became synonymous with comfort—a feat that many shoppers are looking for when it comes to heels.
Keep reading for our full conversation with the creative behind BYDOSE on the origins of the brand, and why simplicity may be the new luxury.
ESSENCE: What made you want to create BYDOSE?
Dian: Initially, I wanted to get into wardrobe styling. As a Black creative in the U.K., it was really hard to get a foot in the door and make those connections with celebrities and PR. I used to do digital styling online for fun, so people began to associate me with fashion in that sense. I’ve always been into heels — I’ve never looked at clothes and said “Yeah, I want to do clothes,” so when I started a brand around shoes, no one was surprised.
What inspired the BYDOSE aesthetic, and how do you want your products to make consumers feel?
If I’m going to go out, I want to dress and feel good, and I think heels give you a sense of sexiness and confidence. I want my customers to feel like our shoes complete their outfit. I would say that BYDOSE is simple and minimalistic, but still luxury. Luxury doesn’t have to be extra and bold all the time. We need to bring back the idea that simplicity is luxury.
“Luxury doesn’t have to be extra and bold all the time. We need to bring back the idea that simplicity is luxury.” – Dian
Can you tell me about your newest shoe, the AURUM?
I wanted to create a shoe that felt like a staple, like something you can wear with anything, but it still makes a statement. I pulled the sandal thong aspect from the old ‘90s runways look. It felt like the perfect fun, summery style. We’ll soon be releasing the style in silver and pink.
Feedback you receive from customers includes that your shoes are very comfortable. Is this something that is important to you during the design process?
Wearing heels, I used to wonder why it was such a struggle to look nice in shoes without being in pain. Why would you make a product without thinking of your customer first? I like to focus on structure, and I think simplicity is best. So yes, comfort is definitely a main focus of mine.
You ran into a challenge where your brand had to start over with a new Instagram account due to some technical difficulties — how did that affect your brand?
After our launch last year, we had built a community of about 2,000 people on Instagram, and a lot of our customers became repeat customers when we released our initial shoe style, the Snake Lace in new colors. So to have to start over was a challenge because I wasn’t sure if people would transition to the new page, but the AURUM has really helped grow the brand’s online presence again. The transition feels different in a good way. I feel like people actually understand the brand now and where we’re going
For more information visit www.by-dose.com/shop.