Alana Oates wanted to create a shoe that could feel like home but also be easy for day, night and travel. This desire not only came from her lifestyle, but 8 years in the fashion industry as a footwear designer. She studied at Moore College of Art in Philadelphia and then at Urban Inc. Here, she learned the shoe-making process, how to work with leathers and sourcing ins-and-outs. She continued to hone her skills and work travel allowed her to research various countries to see where production would be most viable.
Ready to go out on her own, she took a leap of faith and left her corporate job to start Llani which is her childhood name. The three year old label which was initially funded by Kickstarter where she raised $10,000 offers beautifully embellished babouche slides and slippers with a globally inspired point-of-view that is both chic and eye-catching.
Oates chose India for production. Inspired by their artisan hand and opportunity to work with women or family owned factories as partners where they could grow together was the appeal.
India has an inherent artisan hand which is what I fell in love with. The factories we work with are female founded or family owned, and we ensure that female workers have strong leadership roles at each factory. We hope that with our support and empowerment, the factories and workers are able to grow along with us. Our partners are such an incredible part of our brand. Llani would not be without them.
To create these pieces, she combines her creative vision with traditional Indian shoe making techniques. Her travels to India include visiting fabric and trim markets for the right color combinations and working with artisans to bring styles to life.
Their Heirloom Clara Collection was also added to the mix and is made from vintage Thai silk which was a gift from her Great Aunt Clara. Sourced from her travels in Bangkok in the 1970s, the style comes in five different prints and colors. Only 99 were made and will never be recreated, but there’s always the brand’s best-selling embellished room slide which is from their first collection and at one point, even garnered a 400 person wait list.
Learn more about Llani and use the code SHIPNAH for free shipping.
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