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Ahluwalia Unveils First Shoe Collection, Ugg Collab at LFW Show

UK fashion brand Ahluwalia unveiled its first shoe collection during its fall/winter 2023 runway show at London Fashion Week on Saturday.

After eight months of development, the Ganni collaborator debuted a 11-piece shoe collection in multiple colorways for both men and women ranging from loafers and boots for men and strappy heels and mules for women.

For women, a standout model is the “A Wedge,” which features a stylized letter “A” serving as the heel of the shoe. “This ‘A’ heel will be the key to our shoes moving forward as we continue to develop more styles,” founder and creative director Priya Ahluwalia told FN in a pre-show virtual meeting. “I’m really excited about this heel; it took a long time to develop and I’m happy with how it turned out.”

Ahluwalia, shoes, London Fashion Week
The Raga mule in black and brown fur with brown leather featuring the afro comb heel. CREDIT: GAMMA-RAPHO VIA GETTY IMAGES

Ahluwalia, who often references her Nigerian and Indian roots in her collections, carries this design method over into the new shoe category. “I wanted to celebrate different cultural references that are relevant to me,” the designer said. “So, I looked at a lot of Indian and Nigerian footwear, and not just classic ones, but also styles that immigrants often wear when coming to the UK.”

Some of the other heels used throughout the women’s line reference the shape of an afro comb, as seen used in the “Raga Mule” and “Chikari Boot,” while the “Tabali” men’s boot references a square-shaped shoe her dad wears frequently that are largely popular in Lagos.

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Ahluwalia, shoes, London Fashion Week
The men’s Gangan boot in black and white fur with black suede. CREDIT: COURTESY OF AHLUWALIA

The designer, who is producing the footwear line in Portugal, also mentioned the collection’s use of sustainably sourced leathers. According to Ahluwalia, all of the leather suppliers have undergone an audit with LWG (Leather Working Group) and are all approved, with two achieving gold standard certifications.

As for the retail rollout, Ahluwalia told FN that the collection will drop on her website as well a limited number of retail partners. Retail prices for the footwear range from $470 to $1,200.

“This feels like the right time to test out our new shoe program, see which styles resonate with people and develop from there,” she added. “It’s honestly so fun and I can’t wait to design the next season.”

Ahluwalia, shoes, London Fashion Week
The women’s Chikari boots in blue mix leather with afro comb detail heel. CREDIT: COURTESY OF AHLUWALIA

This launch comes as Ahluwalia debuts a new collaboration with Ugg. The designer updated the Ugg Neumel High-Top Boot with customized beading for her show on Saturday, which Ahluwalia said was all about self-expression. “It was so refreshing to be given the creative freedom to bring all of my research and heritage into this customization and put a complete Ahluwalia spin on the iconic Ugg silhouette,” she said.

Founded in 2018 by London-born designer Priya Ahluwalia, the label has won multiple industry awards including the H&M Design Award in 2019, the LVMH Prize in 2020, and the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design and GQ x BFC Designer Menswear fund in 2021.

The A Wedge in blue leather with A-shaped heel. CREDIT: COURTESY OF AHLUWALIA

According to Ahluwalia, her brand is sold in over 40 international stores with the U.S. serving as her largest market.

Ahluwalia, shoes, London Fashion Week
The finale at Ahluwalia’s London Fashion Week show on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023. CREDIT: COURTESY OF AHLUWALIA