Pam Sissons | Fifty Is The New Forty
Recently we turned to Julie Lopez for guidance as the go-to designer for beautiful, fashionable and comfortable shoes! Julie’s shoes are the gold standard for anyone who struggles to find shoes for the workplace, for a night out, or dressy/casual styles for the rest of your life! Julie took her personal experience and reinvented the way women’s shoe styles perform, while crafting a super high quality, affordably priced product. I tried these personally, and with the issues I have, these are the first pair of heels I have been able to wear comfortably in about 7 years. I’m hooked.
Read this Q & A we did with Julie, and you will understand what makes her shoes the absolute best solution for women with wide feet, bunions, and many other “ped problems”! I LOVE these shoes, and am sure that you will too! (If you try them, please post here and let us know your response!) Happy walking! ~Pam
Q. What was your biggest inspiration in terms of women’s foot issues working as a nurse in the orthopedic field?
A. I know what makes a foot feel good, and I wanted to create a shoe that would encourage the foot to sit in a more anatomically natural position. As a nurse I saw the many measures taken and accessories used to make walking more comfortable for troubled feet. I knew that women with all kinds of feet, especially troubled ones, would benefit from small, subtle tweaks in design and structure, such as giving the toes more space, and not having the edges cut into the foot in painful places.
A. I get it. I’m in my 50s, and my shoes have been an integral part of my style for my entire life – they make me feel attractive and put together. There has to be a give and take though when it comes to painful high heels, so I don’t wear them for long stretches and I recommend everyone carry a pair of comfortable shoes for extensive walking and bring your heels for the big meeting or event. Women with foot issues should, most importantly, be honest with themselves about the size they need for a proper fit, as well as what their personal threshold is for wearing uncomfortable shoes. Make your outfit a focal point and a simple, classic pair of fashionable yet comfortable shoes will ultimately make you a lot happier in the long term.
A. Baby boomer women are our largest customer segment and the most vocally excited about our shoes on social media and amongst their friends (who have now become our customers too). I can’t tell you how many women we’ve put back into heels after they’ve sworn years, even decades, ago they couldn’t wear them. The Italian craftsmanship of our shoes makes them incredibly balanced and stable, and our FIT (Flex Innovation Technology) allows the forefoot to sit more naturally in the shoe. This combination means they can wear Julie Lopez shoes for hours without pain. Our Blair style is a 1.5″ kitten heel and has been especially popular with boomer babes.
Q. Can you tell us a bit about how you decided on the exclusive online shopping strategy?
A. We met with several national department stores and were so flattered that they liked our technology and wanted to carry our shoes, but once the retail markups were added in, we knew our price points would prohibit many women from trying our shoes. I want all women to have the opportunity to wear beautiful shoes without the pain, so we went the direct-to-consumer route to eliminate retail markups and make these luxury shoes accessible to as many women as possible.
A. I’m a heel girl, I always have been. We created the Carli style as our take on the classic pump, and to this day, it’s still my favorite.
Q. Where to you get the inspiration for designs that are both beautiful and functional?
A. I am inspired by so many things: visiting the Italian leather shows, keeping a close watch on the fashion industry, and also just thinking about my customer and what she wants in her closet head to toe and how we can be the literal foundation for that look. While we look at the runways and other trends, we really focus on what women will want to wear often, and season after season. Our styles are very much wardrobe essentials.
A. Yes! We launch new styles twice a year, so be on the lookout for new styles and new color offerings every Spring and Fall.
Q. Who is the most influential or famous person you would like to see wearing your shoes?
A. I’m a pretty big fan of Duchess Kate Middleton and her classic style that dabbles in trends but is seriously timeless – just like our shoes.
Q. What’s next for your company?
A. We will continue adding more styles and colors to our line and further expanding our offerings. Everything will incorporate our technology so that we can be the go-to brand and collection for women with troubled feet who can wear, and enjoy in comfort, every style in our line.
Q. Did you ever have your bunion removed?
A. No, they’re both still there and feeling better than ever since I started my shoe line! 🙂