Inspired by a long struggle with eczema and self-confidence, 25-year-old design student, Rashida Brown, launched the line in a mission to help women feel confident in their own skin while comfortable in their new shoes.
Her pre-launch NYFW show on Sept. 12 in HiTechMODA’s sustainable segment featured black women of all ages and sizes walking in her “Basic But Classy” line of sneakers, heels and boots. Aimed at increasing opportunities for diverse models, her show sparked the interest of Vogue, who attended specifically for the shoe line.
Dedicated to sustainable, slow fashion, shoes are made of 100% Italian leather and range in price from $150-250 for women and $65-75 for girls
What inspired you to start in fashion?
My passion for fashion has always been there, I just never knew what field I wanted to tap into, it wasn’t until I started doing fashion shows that I figured out the direction that God was leading me to go in.
What drew you specifically to footwear?
I have always been a sneakerhead and had a love for footwear. I wanted to tap into something that I didn’t see a lot of other people doing.
If you could use any 4 words to describe your shoe line, what would they be?
Feminine, Trendy, Posh, and Empowering.
Can you take us through the creative process of creating The Japera Brown Collection?
The process of creating a brand requires a lot and being that my footwear brand is new, we are still in the creative process of building up the brand, and connecting with our target audience. It starts though with an idea and developing your brand identity.
What do you hope women take away from your brand?
I hope women feel empowered and have a greater level of confidence in themselves.
Where do you hope to see your brand in the next 3-5 years?
I hope to see my brand become a household name, and we are bringing in consistent sales, hosting our own pop-up shops, in our own warehouse space. I also hope to open up my own shoe manufacturing company and help other emerging footwear designers start their footwear brands at an affordable cost.
What shoe from your list do you consider your absolute favorite?
My favorite shoe has to be the lime green + cheetah print sneaker. That sneaker is girly and it screams at me all day. That is definitely my signature sneaker.
What is your definition of a Pretty Woman Who Hustles?
Pretty Woman Who Hustles means a pretty confident woman who puts in the work to have a successful brand or business. The women who do whatever it takes to reach their goals and get their brand or business where they desire it to be.