Walking the Walk: Meet Designer Cheval
Style. Optimism. Empowerment. For a dose of all three—and a pair of new heels, flats, sneakers, slippers, boots or booties—point yourself in the direction of She is Cheval at the Seaport. More than a pop-up shop, She is Cheval is a celebration of joy, beauty, and womanhood.
The brand’s Sip & Shop Galentine’s Soirée on February 9 is a perfect time to get acquainted with She is Cheval designs, and meet the creative force behind them as you raise a toast to the besties in your life.
Here, designer Cheval takes us behind the ethos of her brand and talks Galentine’s, inspiration and the importance of supporting fellow women.
Why did you create She is Cheval? What was your goal?
My evergreen goal as a creator is to simply bring joy and dazzlement to women. We launched She is Cheval with the intention of selling women’s specialty shoes, mainly online. When the opportunity to open a pop-up at the Seaport became available, it was the cherry on top of our small business sundae!
For those not aware of your story, can you share a little of your background in design?
I was formerly known as a wedding dress designer featured on a popular TV show. However, my former employer is suing me in Federal Court over the usage of my name and what I always believe to be my personal social media accounts. While I’m still fighting for my rights, most recently, I’ve been restricted in my chosen trade: for five years, I cannot identify as a designer in the categories my former employer manufactures and sells.
So, I realized I needed to fully embrace a new trade and explore new fashion categories. I was especially drawn to shoes because they are a fashion item that directly manifest a personal prowess. I also love that the footwear industry is inclusive, eclectic, and magnetic. The moment I started designing shoes, I couldn’t stop.
What sets She is Cheval footwear apart from other brands?
I think a lot of times with product development, you can get stuck in the voices of other brands or dilute your assortment to “safe styles”. I didn’t shy away from being sentimental. I designed each shoe with a specific story and inspiration, and I removed the expectation of trying to please everyone. I’ve always believed riches are in the niches, and that storytelling through design is my favorite way to connect to people.
Where do you find inspiration?
Every shoe is an opportunity for a new rabbit hole, so the limit does not exist. Generally, I gravitate toward more playful juxtapositions (imaginative treasures from childhood) and lyrical muses (soundtracks and song writing). Creating for women is where I feel most myself.
Tell us about your upcoming Galentine’s Day event.
Valentine’s Day can sometimes feel a bit exclusive, so I love that Galentine’s is a term you can define for yourself. When I think of Galentines, I think of unwavering support, I think of my best girlfriends, and I think of self-love. In all that has happened, I am most proud of my relationships and generous reciprocity with women.
I love creating environments where women can show up, be themselves, and feel supported. This event is really about facilitating a razzle-dazzle good time. Our pop-up shop is mainly open on weekends and for limited hours, so this little Galentine’s Event will allow us to extend into the evening for some late night Gal-avanting (pun intended)!
And what’s next?
I am launching my nonprofit, A Girl You Might Know Foundation, in a couple of months. The foundation is geared towards protecting the rights of young women and artists, especially during the formative years of their career. While I prefer to identify as a creator, the knowledge I’ve picked up in contract law and business development has helped me rebuild and reinvent. It is my sincere hope that my journey will make someone else’s creative journey a little less traumatic and a whole lot more successful. This is my chance to pay it forward.
Tickets for the She is Cheval Sip & Shop Galentine’s Soiree on February 9 are available here. Secure your tickets now as space is limited.
Visit the She is Cheval pop-up at 25 Fulton Street. Hours and more information can be found at sheischeval.com.