Cruelty free fashion is becoming ever more popular and Bourgeois Boheme is just one of the fantastic vegan shoe brands that is gaining more gravitas of late. Check out my interview with founder, Alicia Lai here:
How and when did Bourgeois Boheme get started?
Bourgeois Boheme was created back in 2005 by myself Alicia Lai, a qualified podiatrist who couldn’t find any quality vegan accessories and footwear on the market at that time. I begun selling online vegan accessories (e.g purses, belts) and footwear based on my ethics as a vegan- that no animals should be harmed for anything, even fashion. I had a break for 2 years and then re-launched Bourgeois Boheme in 2013 as an exclusive online vegan footwear brand.
When did you become vegan and why?
I was veggie for more than 10 years and became vegan in 2005 due to the realities of the cruelty of the dairy and egg industries. There is absolutely no need to exploit animals for human use and I together with my family, my two girls being vegan from birth, live a happy, fulfilled and healthy plant based lifestyle.
How would you describe the Bourgeois Boheme brand?
Bourgeois Boheme is a lifestyle footwear brand that cares first and foremost about designing animal and environmentally friendly shoes. Our designs are exclusive BB styles which are created with help of our designer Jurgita and myself, founder Alicia. Our aim is to create beautiful and versatile shoes for men and women who like ourselves care where our shoes come from. With a particular flair for timeless British style and contemporary utilitarian designs, we are consistently producing artisan made shoes from the finest European vegan leathers. In short, we work tirelessly to produce better shoes in a better way – redefining the perception of leather-free footwear as we know it.
What materials do you use in your products?
Our shoes are lovingly crafted without any animal-derived materials such as fur, leather, wool, silk and animal-based glues. There’s absolutely no PVC either. Instead, we choose high-quality, Italian-made cotton-backed microfibre PU (polyurethane), textiles and natural materials. This result is sophisticated, innovative materials that are long-lasting, super-comfortable, waterproof, and animal- and eco-friendly.
Who is your typical customer?
Our typical customer are men and women in their mid-thirties who are vegan or vegetarian and care about animal welfare but also men and women who are not necessarily vegan but are conscious consumers meaning they make sure that what they buy is eco-friendly and has less impact on the planet as well as being interested in fashion and making sure they look good by doing good.
What inspires you?
Our inspiration from the beginning was animals and the environment. We aim to educate people that there are better alternatives in the market than any animal-derived materials. We also want to prove that vegan shoes can be contemporary as well as eco and animal friendly.
How have you seen vegan fashion brands grow over the years?
There is constant research from vegan brands in the market, including us, to find more sustainable and environmentally friendly materials to subsidise the toxic leathers that are used in the fashion industry today. We have seen vegan and sustainable fashion becoming more and more mainstream with Stella McCartney being a great example as well as Matt & Natt which has become very popular amongst vegan celebrities. We have seen Bryan Adams and Natalie Portman wearing our shoes which is a great honour for us as a vegan independent business.
What are your best selling styles?
Our best selling styles at the moment are our luxe-sneakers for both men and women called Taylor and Damien, which both come in black and plum colours. They are the ultimate sneakers that will complete every person’s casual look! Also, our Matilda Chelsea boots for women are one of our ultimate best selling styles as well as the men’s equivalent Ralph. This season we also introduced our nod to London look with Kristen and David monk shoes which also have been a favourite amongst our BB fans.
What are the key shoes for this Autumn Winter for both Men and Women?
Despite the London drizzle and cold that we had mid-season, people are obsessed with athleisure wear and sneakers this season. People know that the cold will hit at some point that is why Chelsea boots and chucky lace up boots are extremely popular this season amongst both men and women.
What are your favourite vegan friendly brands?
All of them! Any brand that makes a stand for a more compassionate and peaceful world gets my seal of approval.
What does the future hold for Bourgeois Boheme?
We are always trying to make our ranges as sustainable as possible with extensive research in eco-friendlier materials. Also, our collections as well as our designs are becoming more androgynous and we are also launching next winter our first unisex vegan sneaker collection. Exciting times!
Check out the wonderful offering from Bourgeois Boheme here. http://www.bboheme.com
Thanks for reading.
London Vegan Bird
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