BOHEMIAN LIKE YOU
It used to be hard to find footwear that is both animal-friendly and fashion-forward. Stella McCartney is one designer who has been able to make vegan shoes stylish and covetable, but her price-points are out of reach for most of us. Luckily, we also also have brands like Bourgeois Boheme, a British footwear company that creates cruelty-free shoes that are incredibly cool but won’t break the bank.
Bourgeois Boheme founder Alicia Lai was a podiatrist in Australia when she was inspired to get into the shoe business. A long-time vegan, she had difficulty finding animal-free footwear options that were on-trend. She also learned that many non-leather shoes were produced in sweat shops, or weren't particularly eco-friendly. So when Alicia decided to make that big career change from podiatrist to footwear entrepreneur, she packed up and moved to London to launch Bourgeois Boheme. Originally, she acted more as a buyer and curator, selling shoes and handbags from other vegan labels. But while taking a break from BoBo to have children, she restructured the business and instead, focused entirely on manufacturing shoes that she designed herself.
Alicia says she is a fan of classic and iconic footwear brands like Tod's and Church's and you can definitely see the influence in Bourgeois Boheme, whose overall vibe is retro with contemporary updates. Petra is an androgynous, lace-up ankle boot with a crepe sole and brogue detailing. Also borrowing from the boys is Ellen, a traditional derby with a low stacked heel and round toe. If you're looking for a tall boot, then check out Emily, a timeless high heel dress boot with equestrian styling. BoBo also has an extensive selection of men's shoes which, like the women's line, are made with sustainable, animal-free materials in factories providing a living wage.