Welcome to the fairytale world of footwear designer Anastasia Radevich. Not the bright, flowery, delicate world of a Disney reimagining. No, her siren-like designs are straight out of a Hans Christian Anderson fable. Specifically, the dark, gritty, and eccentric pages of “The Little Mermaid.” They prove that fashion —  specifically footwear — is an art form that has both an aesthetic and practical value.

Radevich, a Montreal-based designer, continually challenges how we view footwear design. Born into a family of footwear designers, this third generation shoemaker seems to have had the tools to succeed in footwear from birth. In addition to a natural disposition for design, Radevich spent years working in the creative studios of many famous fashion houses — from Nicholas Kirkwood to Alexander McQueen — giving her the chance to perfect her craft and gain invaluable industry knowledge. The cumulative result has been the creation of her own synonmous brand of fantastical footwear.

Each design is unique and unexpected; expressive yet wearable. They expertly combine creativity with practical design application. Radevich’s chosen materials perfectly ties together with the aquatic and dark overall feel of this collection. Whether it is metal, shells, or coral, these materials add depth, texture and individuality to the shoes.

For Anastasia Radevich, designing footwear is a personal experience, and a trial in self-expression in the highest degree. She credits “the flow and the process” of creation as what she loves most about this type of design.     

When formulating the creation of her heels, Radevich has a simple saying to guarantee a successful design: “Stay true to your vision, take risks, never give up.” Looking at her shoes, it’s clear to see this mantra in practice. Every piece is the embodiment of taking risks to fulfill a personal, creative vision.

These shoes clearly tell a story of intrigue and grit in and of themselves; perhaps a story of sirens from the depths of the ocean. “They can be titles to a story we wear or equipment that grounds us,” Radevich says of the role shoes play in how we express ourselves. This duality and merging of opposites is the perfect descriptor of Radevich’s shoes. The opposition light and dark, fantasy and reality, glamour and grit, are what makes Radevich’s designs so lust-worthy and unlike anything else.

While this current line may be perfect for the deep-sea and mermaid lovers, Anastasia Radevich plans to expand her brand to appeal to land-lovers and adventurers alike. Her upcoming line, Project Terranaut will do just that. “It is an amazing line and it is dedicated to all women-wanderers, adventurers, lovers of the unknown and seekers of the truth who dare to explore [the] environment beyond the predetermined paths,” saya Radevich. The brand travels even further into the unknown themselves with the launch of the Terranaut School of Shoemaking in Montreal. The school will follow in the creative footsteps of Radevich herself and teach more than simply the craftsmanship of footwear. With such big plans in the making, and an existing line that is completely unique and imaginative, Anastasia Radevich is quickly creating a space for herself in the world of shoe design. — MERIAL WILES