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he 2008 financial crisis shocked Latvia, but also served as a cold shower that refreshed the nation and made many re-evaluate what they did for a living. As people were forced out of traditional labour martails are based on the functional, kets, small enterprises began to not the abstractly decorative. I like bloom. People who had nothto experiment with different maing else to lose started to purterials, such as textiles and wood, sue the careers they had always bringing them together as construcdreamed of. tion elements.” Architect Elīna Dobele had Dobele’s architectural approach spent five years designing vilhas helped her find her own aesthetlas for the family firm, working ic language, with her shoes representalongside her father and brothing a number of steps forward in footer, when she decided to stop wear design. creating houses and start creatHer first collection consisted of ing shoes. boots made of a combination of leather Calling her shoes “houses and fabric. These became a must-have for for the feet”, she explains that all the fashionistas and creative minds in the most important thing she Latvia’s capital, Riga. Within the blink of has imported from the world an eye, Dobele had morphed from an archiof architecture is a perfect baltect into a shoe designer. Although she reance between the functional leases two new collections a year – for men and the visual. and women – these particular leather-tex“As an architect I was tile boots with a low heel from her taught that every line you first collection are the bestdraw has to have an explaknown Dobele design in nation,” Dobele said. “Even Riga. if you decide to draw just a Between collecdot, you must know what it tions Dobele uses the stands for. Therefore, in my requests of her private designs most of the lines have customers to help her exa beginning and ending point. Deperiment further. She is always 62 Direction

Direction Summer 2014  

The on-board magazine of Lux Express Group is placed in the seat pocket in front of each passenger.