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Mar 1, 2021

CFDA: ShoeDazzle Launches Second Collection with Rita Ora

Six questions with Rita Ora

by Karyl J. Truesdale| Mar 1st, 2021

Singer, songwriter, actress and fashion muse Rita Ora is making quite a “Bang” – not just with her new EP of the same name but also with the first footwear collection she designed for Shoe Dazzle.

The 10 million subscribers-strong online fashion subscription service was founded by Brian Lee, MJ Eng, Robert Shapiro, and Kim Kardashian.

Ora’s love for fashion and her innate ability to stand out and embrace the current trends unfolds in this fresh new collection!

What inspired you to create a shoe line for Shoe Dazzle? & Why shoes in particular?

I have always loved fashion. I started off with Jason (Rembert, celebrity stylist) and did so many things. It has been such a crazy journey, my relationship with fashion. I have always loved shoes, and my first job ever was in a shoe store. To me, shoes are the most fun and creative part of putting an outfit together. I always wanted to design a shoe collection made accessible to all women, and Shoe Dazzle’s quality and price point were a big factor for me in my decision-making. Shoe Dazzle’s business practice allows their partners to drive the creative decisions of the collaboration and that is extremely important to me.

To whom do you owe your fashion influence and sense of style?

As a creative person, you always get inspiration from the most random unpredictable thing. It all started for me with the women in my life. Starting off with my mum, who had a huge influence on my style, and definitely had her opinion on it. She has always been very open about everything and never afraid to express what’s on her mind, especially with what she wears. And then, of course, there are my childhood heroes – Gwen Stefani, Blondie, Madonna, Mariah Carey. All of these women were so confident, bold, and brave. Growing up, these were MY queens, and in the 90s it redefined what it was like for a female musician to speak her mind. I was born in 1990, so that is why I am so connected to the style of my era. Although women were expressive in previous time periods, to me it is so amazing to see female musicians speak their own mind and own their own sex appeal. Women who embrace their femininity always inspires me to get up in the morning and put on something that makes me feel comfortable in my own skin.

What was something about designing that totally opened your eyes to the business of fashion, that shocked yet amazed you?

I think for me, seeing the presence of online shopping – and obviously in this past year, I have done a lot of that, which we all have. Since Shoe Dazzle is totally online, we started to get insights from day one which styles resonated with my fans and Shoe Dazzle members. The complete analytics of what they were clicking on, what styles were selling at a vast rate… there was so much data that it inspired the next collection for my Spring line. So we knew customers loved the chunky lug soles, the sexy neutrals they could pair with anything, coupled with details that looked expensive. We welcomed that feedback and updated those ideas for the new season ahead. I think all of that was a big eye opener for me in the business of fashion.

What is your personal take on American fashion? What would you change if anything, in your personal opinion?

American fashion is so different depending on where you are. When you’re in New York, the energy and attitude on the streets is just unmatched, you know? Everyone acts like they are walking the runway. It’s infectious, it has energy. New York is so similar to London,; it’s like a huge mixing pot. But then you go to LA and everyone is so sleek and has that kind of glow. Some of my favorite designers are American – Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger…there is definitely some great work being done that feels relevant globally. I do not think I would change anything specifically, but I think it is admirable how American fashion sticks by its roots. You have a designer like Ralph Lauren, and in his designs, you can feel where someone is from and that’s very admirable.

What are your future fashion ambitions and would it include a clothing line?

Oh well of course! Something that has always been a big part of my life is getting dressed. It is another way I can get to make a statement and put a little bit of art out into the world. I love the creativity of it all and I am open to continue to learn the business of fashion and put little pieces of me into things my fans can wear every day. I want to impact their lives to be better.

What advice would you give to someone in your peer group, interested in the same direction as you?

Hmmm, that is a good, good question. It is such an interesting question because when you relate to your peer group, it changes a little. Getting into fashion from my personal perspective is just so fulfilling. It can be so fulfilling! But finding the right partner is very important! I have these amazing Zoom design meetings with the Shoe Dazzle team, for example, from 6,000 miles away. We all get together with design assets and go deep on what we are aspiring for with this collaboration. To find that willingness to authentically collaborate in a brand partner is rare. It has been so much fun learning from their data and getting to know what my fans love. So that’s my advice, it’s about the partnership. Definitely!