Best described as ‘stunning women’s heels designed in Australia’ and known for their iconic vivid blue soles,Gorge shoes are truly unique. Suitable for every occasion, Gorge are most certainly memorable by design but beyond style, they are also known for the all-day comfort.
Shoe Online spoke to creative director, Eva Scolaro who said their target market is `confident women who love to be bold and brave with their style or just a little adventurous’. In short, Gorge represents fun, fashion and comfort.
“Our versatility in design is motivated firstly by comfort,” she said. “We then incorporate the truly unique style elements. So we’re hoping our new Winter 12 range will make a Gorge customer out of you.”
To buy quality designer footwear you may be told to get a small loan, but not with Gorge. “As the creative director I sketch each and every design choosing the all leathers and embellishments.” she says. “Gorge is hand crafted with limited production, meaning each shoe is stamped with a unique number that is as individual as you are.”
On average Gorge will produce only 50 to 100 pairs of any style, all in 100% leather each with striking blue soles, and some styles with white exposed stitching. “We believe in the quality of our products and to show you we do, we offer our customers a warranty* on our products,” says Eva.
And each of the Gorge styles range from $120 – $450. “We should all have the opportunity to purchase 100% Australian Designed quality leather footwear and not break the bank,” she says.
Here Eva gives us her tips for a successful business; how Gorge has overcome challenges facing retail with the introduction of online shopping; and her personal favourites styles.
What are some of your favourite/popular styles?
The SS12 collection, Envy walked herself out the door and Pink Spice was not far behind. I took a little bit of a design risk with Sassy, but she too walked out the door. A lot of thought goes into the designs, however it is difficult to gauge what will work best. I feel that as long as my design is motivated only by my passion and love for women’s shoes, I will produce designs that people with cherish for many years.
Tell us about the design process behind the scenes, how does the label conceive from initial inspiration to final concept in-store?
What is always in the forefront of my mind when designing is comfort. A shoe can look fabulous, but there is no point if you can’t bear to wear it. Gorge is designed to be very unique in style. It is also designed to ensure long into the night a woman doesn’t end up carrying her heels in her hand.
Colour concepts for the range are derived mainly from overseas inspirations and leading fashion houses. My favourites are the limitless extravagance of John Galliano and on the flipside the classic styling of Chanel. I try to find the balance.
As a designer the one thing that is critical is knowing when to be happy with the product. There was a few styles in this winter collection that were re-invented at least 8 times. Knowing when to be happy with what you have created. It is easy to let your creative mind take over at times.
How has Gorge overcome the challenges facing retail and the introduction of online shopping?
Challenges we face in the current market with the decrease in consumer spending can only be overcome by analysing what customers want. I believe that what consumers want above all is affordability. I believe what consumers don’t want is lesser quality products based on price points. Gorge customers can have 100% leather, Australian designer footwear, that is comfortable, that is unique to them and that is affordable.
Breaking into the market, Gorge is based online to cut out any additional costs such as store fronts, staff ect. We know how important it is for our customers to touch and try our footwear on. We also understand that there can be price mismatches when it comes to in store prices and online. Our promise is to be consist across both mediums to ensure real customer satisfaction.
Can you offer any tips on what has worked for your business?
The best advice I can give is to be consistent and positive with the approach. Have a plan and set clear goals. Stick to these, although be flexible and remain open to change in your approach and always, always ask for customer feedback. This is golden.
How you have created a successful fashion footwear brand?
I would have to say the main reason for the success of Gorge is based on the motivations behind its design process. Gorge is designed first for comfort and then for truly eye-catching styles. Gorge customers first purchase is more motivated by style, but once you have purchased your first pair of Gorge heels, and you know for yourself how comfortable they really are. You will be back – I am certain of it!
Can you stress the importance of brand imaging to support product and how you achieve this for Gorge?
It is vital that a customer can spot your product in the crowd. I wanted to ensure that when Gorge becomes a household name. Even if you forget the name, you will remember our Blue Soles. The brand image, in all of our material relates to our Blue Sole Trademark.
How do you establish loyalty in sales?
I believe loyalty cannot be imposed on a customer. It must be earned. Gorge earns our customers loyalty based on the product quality and comfort. These two elements keep our customers coming back for more.
What is in store for Gorge in 2012 and the future?
We have W12 collection which is being packaged as we speak. (see below for a few sneak-peaks) We will be running several campaigns towards the end of the year with various Australian and international magazines. 2012 brings us to The Australian Shoe Fair – this is a great platform for meeting new buyers and getting their feedback.
The other exciting idea that is being explored is a men’s collection. Curious to hear what the guys think of Blue Soles!
Big plans – Stay tuned!
For more information visit Gorge online, www.gorge.net.au