When a person has grown up in a family of shoemakers, worked with her father on his shoe business, and even married a fellow shoemaker, you would have thought that she would be bored of shoes.
Well, not one Giorgia Caovilla. For the very first time, Italian footwear label O Jour is available in Singapore at multi-brand shoe store La Collection - part of Takashimaya department store's The Store Salon. The designer Caovilla was in Singapore for a private preview. At our one-on-one session with the effervescent Italian, her enthusiasm about shoes was infectious - Caovilla truly lives and breathes shoes.
O Jour's signature is the demi heel - a medium heel between 2 to 7cm. Caovilla decided to start her own footwear brand specialising in these demi heels because she saw a market for them when she was working with her father, renowed shoemaker Rene Caovilla. "My father sells very elegant high heel shoes and I noticed that after 10 years, his customers would ask for footwear with middle heels. But my father wasn't able to respond to such specific requests as he worked with more glamorous, fashionable footwear that was more suited for nighttime wear. After hearing this same question so many times, I decided to answer the call for middle heels and that's how I started this line three years ago!" explained Caovilla with a sunny smile.
Backed by her wealth of experience, Caovilla launched O Jour, "Jour means daytime in French - I wanted to focus on shoes primarily worn in the day. The O in the name began as a circle, I see the circle as a form of perfection and I want my brand to be just that - perfect. There's also a touch of orange in the O Jour logo, that's my favourite colour."
Bow details feature extensively in the O Jour collections. "I like bows," nodded Caovilla at our observation, and demonstrates how multi-faceted the detail can be. "Yes, a bow can be sweet but it can also be sexy. It's an easy detail to play with."
Montjeu, Cid, Toytown - these are some of the shoe names from the O Jour Autumn Winter 2013 collection - do they have any particular meaning? Caovilla nods, "My inspiration for this season is thoroughbred racehorses! The ribbons given to the winning horses inspired me. I read up on horse races and named the shoes after popular winning horses. Flowers inspired the Spring Summer 2014 range so you will notice that the shoes all have flower names."
When pressed to choose a favourite pair of O Jour shoes, Caovilla points out the Richelieu. The 5cm heel makes her feel sexy and feminine but the large base of the heel is also comfortable, so one can wear it 24/7. Incidentally, the Richelieu is also one of Taylor Swift's favourite O Jour shoes - the other being the Tuxedo flats with metal tips.
Caovilla muses that the country singer embodies the O ideal Jour woman - Swift may be young but she doesn't want to compromise comfort for style.
The O Jour Autumn Winter 2013 and Spring Summer 2014 collections are available at La Collection at The Shoe Salon, Level 2 Takashimaya Department Store. For more about O Jour, go to www.ojour.it/en/. Follow the brand on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OJourByGiorgiaCaovilla and Twitter @O_Jour
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