The history, tradition and art of Chinese embroidery with Italian leather and craftsmanship. This is the mix of Sheme, which describes itself as “the leading luxury footwear brand for women in China”. It was founded in 1998 by Qiongying (Linda) Liu, who currently lives in Germany and is still its creative director. The factory is based in China, where Italian designers and craftsmen (or those trained in Italy) make luxury shoes from Italian leather and materials. Shoes that highlight traditional Chinese culture, represented by Shu embroidery, i.e. the embroidery of the Sichuan region that is China’s intangible cultural heritage.
Sheme is the first Chinese shoe brand to have participated in fashion weeks in London, Paris and New York. And it appeared in Italy during the last edition of Micam Milano, in the Premium China footwear accessories area. Founder and designer Linda Liu was also present. She exhibited a jewel boot with 15,000 Swarovski crystals applied by hand and costing about 20,000 euro (see photo). The boot was shown as the high point of the collaboration and synergy between China and Italy.
Linda has worked for many years for Italian luxury brands. For about 10 years, she searched for the best materials, craftsmen and master shoemakers around the world before founding her brand. During her creation process, she found her own balance by combining traditional Chinese culture, local craftsmanship and international fashion trends. Most importantly, she hired several Italian artisans who had previously, the brand documents state, “worked for Hermès for many years”. The typically Italian expertise and savoir faire were combined with an in-house workshop made up of several embroiderers with more than 20 years’ experience in the sector. They embroider by hand on leather which, like the other materials, comes from Italy.
Sheme was the first Chinese women’s shoe brand to show in Paris. Every Sheme shoe on show at Micam Milan was decorated by hand, often with thousands of Swarovski crystals. The embroideries take months to be completed. Only ten pairs are made for some models.
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