Seychelles LFL by Lust For Life
D E S I G N E R C H AT
MASHIZUM MASJUM KNOWS how to tell a story. For the first 18 years of his career, he wove together documentaries for the likes of National Geographic and History Channel. But in 2013, at the age of 40, he put all that aside to tell stories through fashion, pursuing a lifelong dream to design women’s footwear. His story began in Italy, where he moved to learn the art of shoemaking. “I was transfixed by the experience,” Masjum says. “The Renaissance city of Florence—its decorated murals, its hanging chandeliers, its cobbled streets. Something was awakened within me.” At first, Masjum considered shoemaking more as a temporary endeavor, a creative exercise rather than a new career. “I was pretty content to just follow my heart and learn how to design shoes,” he says. “I thought I was going to return to TV. But every step of the way, the universe kept opening doors for me.” One of said doors was to a factory in Florence, which began sampling the designer’s work and soon after introduced him to distribution partners. With those contacts in place, Masjum launched his eponymous brand, Mashizan, in 2015 in select retailers in New York, Milan, Singapore and Kuala Lumpar. “Throughout the process, I always believed that this was what I was meant to be doing,” he says. “I think I voiced my desires so often that the universe responded to it in more ways than one.” The designer, however, hasn’t completely abandoned his filmmaking past. Each collection is inspired by one of his documentaries. Signature details (like geometric cut-out heels, iridescent patents and textured, stamped leathers) draw inspiration from Masjum’s world travels. “My background has shaped me as a person and added texture to my design voice,” he says. Masjum reports that the slightly off-the-beaten-path designs have generated “cult” followings around the world among trendsetting women looking for luxury with a twist. Indeed, he knows how to create that certain something in each collection that keeps consumers coming back for more. “Shoe love, after all, is driven by gut, by instinct,” Masjum muses. “Buying a pair of shoes brings such delight and pleasure.” —Ann Loynd What’s the theme of your Fall ’17 collection? It’s inspired by a History Channel documentary that I produced in 2011, The Lost 70 footwearplusmagazine.com • february 2017
COZY CORNER Plush furr y slipper-esque sandals bring sleep fashion to the street.
City of Jinsha. It was filmed in Chengdu, China, and uncovered the story of a lost civilization that predates the oldest previously recorded Chinese civilization by almost 1,000 years. Archaeologists found bronze and ivory artifacts along with skeletal human remains that hint of a society that practiced nature worship and human sacrifice. Other hidden treasures were gold, jade and bronze sculptures. I incorporated vivid colors like emerald green and bronzed patina into the collection. Who is the Mashizan’s woman? She’s fiercely independent, a trailblazer when it comes to fashion. When she goes to an event, she doesn’t want to be wearing the same shoes as everyone else. She’s elegant yet unafraid of charting new territory.
Who is your fashion icon? Sophia Loren. Her elegance and sophistication transcends all eras. A more-recent one is Blake Lively. She has impeccable taste. What celebrity would you like to see wear your shoes? Rihanna on the red carpet. She’s unapologetic with her opinions and her sense of style is unrivaled. What do you find most rewarding? Discovering the joy our shoes bring to our clients. I’ve had women who were going through tough times put on our heels and momentarily forget their pain. What’s the greatest shoe of all time? The simple pump. It gives lift, elongates the legs and is so easy to wear.
E D I TO R ’ S P I C K S P H OTO G R A P H Y BY J O S E P H P LU C H I N O
Published on Feb 2, 2017
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