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FFANY Preview: Moses Grace Designer on Leather and Luxury

Laura Helene Stucki-Schulte, founder and designer at Moses Grace, aims to design a new luxury shoe on her own terms. When she begins designing, Stucki-Schulte doesn’t use CAD software or even sketch, but prefers to start with the feel of leather in her hands. She recognizes her process may differ from other designers, but she trusts in her dedication to craft and quality.

Stucki-Schulte first became interested in shoe design when she spent time in Austin working with boot makers at Texas Traditions. It was there that she first began tearing apart shoes and boots and really understanding how high-quality shoes are made.

The process and craft that goes into making a pair of cowboy boots served as an inspiration to Stucki-Schulte while designing her first line collection of pumps. Made with black Italian calfskin and wooden heels, and embellished with heavy fringe and decorative zipper designs, she uses no plastic or cardboard in her construction.

Highlights from the line include a loafer heel with fringe covering the toe and a pump with strips of layered leather running the length of the shoes around the toe and heel. “Manipulation of leather will be my greatest signature,” she said.

The consumers Stucki-Schulte has in mind are leaders in life and fashion. “The woman I’m looking for is at the head of her game: she’s an entrepreneur, she’s a CEO, she’s an accomplished actress,” she said, adding this woman is not interested in fads, but prefers old-world craftsmanship.

Stucki-Schulte was inspired by strong women she met living and traveling abroad. She picked up on different traits she saw in women from different parts of the world: the strength of the French, the sensuality of the Italians, the perfectionism of the Swiss. “I try to bring the women of America to the women of Europe,” she said of her designs.

Stucki-Schulte is targeting top-tier retailers for the line, with prices starting at $620. In the future, she is looking to move into flats and men’s shoes.