Beyond Skin: Luxury Vegan Shoes
Beyond Skin is a luxury British shoe brand that specialises in super glamorous, goddess vegan and vegetarian footwear.
From bright summer flats to the exquisitely detailed bridal collection, Beyond Skin produces a range of beautiful shoes and boots to suit any occasion. Creating anything from the chic work wear pumps like the black ‘Suni’ shoes to the art deco inspired ‘Octavia’ pink platforms , £143, there is a gorgeous pair of shoes that will match any fashion mood or occasion.
Started in 2001, this trailblazing brand was one of the first of its kind to create gorgeous and desirable footwear without leather. It all began when brand creators Natalie Dean and Heather Whittle took it upon themselves to create a brand that combined beautiful designs, suitability and quality.
Heather says, “Beyond Skin was born from a combination of frustration and vanity. Essentially at the time there was simply no stylish, good quality, non-leather footwear available. In the past, attempts to combine fashion and ethics generally resulted in one side of the equation being sacrificed.
“Beyond Skin wanted to prove that fashion and ethics did not have to be mutually exclusive. Natalie Dean, founded Beyond Skin when she made the transition from long time vegetarian to vegan.
“Veganism encouraged Natalie to become intensely aware that everything she did had a consequence.”
After two years of searching for a factory to bring their designs to life, they started production in a quaint factory in London and began to trade shoes from their home.
This unique brand quickly grew when in 2005 fabulous celebrity fans like Natalie Portman began sporting their designs at award shows and on set. They soon won a number of accolade including: Drapers, Grazia, RSPCA, PETA Proggy, Footwear Friends & Vegan Society, and have continued to impress and amaze the fashion industry ever since. Beyond Skin’s popularity boomed and eventually production was moved to larger factories in sunny Spain and based the general operations in Brighton, a vibrant city when it comes to all things green, organic and sustainable.
Heather says, “Our uniqueness lies as much in our approach as it does in our design aesthetic of dynamic, vintage inspired styling. Our philosophy creates the opportunity for us to embrace an unusual use of fabrics, prints and weaves within our designs, which has become our signature style.
“Our careful design and aesthetic is what distinguishes and separates us from most of the other ‘ethical/vegan’ shoes and companies that are out there. We endeavour to be first and foremost a boutique, lifestyle brand that appeals to everyone, as we are fortunate to have a varied audience.”
The Faux Patent Bessy flats, £79, are this season’s favourite. These glorious yellow shoes will brighten up the dreariest day and bring English Summer to you! The delightful white bow detail gives the Bessy’s a cute edge, while the vibrant colour ensure that these are more stylish Alexa Chung and less twee Cindy Brady.
Heather adds, “We are very much inspired by all things vintage and retro; we love visiting gorgeous vintage stores and markets seeking out details that can inspire us for future designs. We find that we are effected continually on a daily basis by our surroundings, which are then echoed in our designs.
“It’s essentially our subconscious that is non-stop researching and gathering inspiration for our collections.”
All of the amazing designs by Beyond Skin are well made and stunning to look at. The chic ‘Shelley’ Faux Suede, £89, shoes look like an expensive and high end suede, and yet no animal product was used to create these beautiful little outfit savers! These classic camel toned flats are perfect for work wear during the summer months, and are so well made that they can continue to be worn and loved long past winter!
The gorgeous SS14 collection is bursting with pretty pink, mint and yellow pastels. This season’s romantic footwear is vintage inspired, featuring art deco detailing and gorgeous new fabrics. The Ethical Hedonist favourite is the gorgeous Tiger shoe in pink. This beautiful example of vintage meets modern is the perfect summer shoe. The colour is eye-catching and the adorable cat design keeps things modern and fresh!
Heather adds, “For SS’14 my personal favourite pair of shoes is the Emerald style. I love its wearability and how soft the colours are, it will be perfect for long summer evenings and smart day events.”
Buy online: http://www.beyondskin.co.uk/
Beyond Skin, First Floor Studio,
59 Lansdowne Place,
Hove, East Sussex,