Danish-born designer Nanna Liv of footwear brand Sargossa reveals the secrets behind her ‘comfortable stilettos’ – shoes that give you height without the pain
“You have to try them before you believe them.” These are the first words from 28-year-old fashion designer Nanna Liv when describing her footwear label, Sargossa. The brand hinges on a concept women have longed for since fashion was invented: shoes that are as comfortable as they are stylish. And for brides, mothers of the bride, or wedding guests looking for that extra bit of comfort without compromising on height or style, there is even more of a draw – shoes that can take you from reception line through to dance floor have to be worth investigating.
Liv founded the brand in 2014. She says: “It all started with me having the need [for comfortable shoes] myself because I wore heels a lot and had so much pain.”
She had moved to London to work in fashion sales and on the trade show floor high heels were a necessity. Having spotted what she saw as a real gap in the market, she began exploring the solutions.
“I spent two-and-a-half years doing the research; I looked at posture; I worked with engineers; I tried to get knowledge from industries where you wouldn’t normally look.”
London has been the basis of Liv’s journey so far: her designs are inspired by the concept of London life, architecture and design. The secret behind her designs, though, is the patented insole that helps to ease the pain brought on by standing on vertiginous heels.
“Normally when you design a collection you are extremely creative. I had to take the creative part, which is 50 percent of it, and the other 50 percent is the geeky part where you think, is it even possible to make this design? I give myself all of the time I want to be creative, and then I try to narrow it down to see if it is going to work for comfort as well; it’s so much about mixing between the two.
“It’s a lot about trusting yourself and seeing that your designs are actually successful – we women are quite picky when it comes to colour and style.”
Who is the Sargossa woman, we ask? Liv thinks it’s all of us: “Me, you, your friends. She appreciates the nice things, has an eye for detail, and won’t compromise on style or quality,” explains Liv.
The thing we like most about Sargossa shoes is that they may be a lifesaver for feet but they look anything but sensible, with killer four-inch heels, floating platform soles, shimmering gold and snakeskin leathers in the mix. Now that is a relief for anyone who doesn’t want to trade style for comfort.