We are all shaped by our experiences; the world in which we grow up. For footwear designer Susana Traca, her heritage, travel and unique sense of style are the key elements in her show-stopping creations. “I usually combine my African style with my Portuguese background, to give a metropolitan soul to my creations,” says the young designer. “Thanks to my Angolan background, my collections are always full of colors with African details and natural materials.”

Her latest collection, Urban Tribe, mixes an element of street style with catwalk sophistication utilizing laser cuts and geometric prints in neoprene, lurex and laminated fabrics. The result is an homage to her hometown of Angola with a European flair that sees each design at home on any metropolitan street, much like the designer herself.

Growing up in the Heart of Africa, Traca moved to Portugal to study at the age of fourteen. She soon found herself traveling throughout Europe as a model. With an eye for design, she began working behind-the-scenes for several well-known brands and gravitated towards footwear.

“I decided to launch my shoe brand in 2010 because I felt a strong need to express my style through footwear,” says Traca. “I spent a lot of my life in Portugal, where I met a lot of shoes suppliers that showed me the manufacturing steps, it was so interesting! I love to see my creations’ birth!”

Traca believes in beauty and comfort, insisting on high-quality materials and manufacturing. A perfectionist at heart, she is all about the details, creating feminine silhouettes with an edge. “I would like that women wearing my shoes would feel fashionable, strong, and more self-confident in my shoes,” she says.

Her line encompasses a variety of styles from knee-high boots to fabulous flats, all created to inspire. “My greatest satisfaction is to give women the opportunity to wear something that can elicit strong emotions,” says Traca. With a growing market for her stylish aesthetic, expect to see much more from this up-and-coming footwear brand. SusanaTraca.com — J.S.