In honor of Women’s History Month, we spoke with founder Ganesia Wveighlin about her luxury, woman-owned footwear brand Caesar Walks. A famous quote by Marilyn Monroe says, “Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.” Wveighlin is empowering her consumers with the right shoes to give them the confidence to do absolutely anything.
Caesar Walks’ expressive, bold and avant-garde footwear can be seen amongst the ranks of some of the most well-known luxury brands including Christian Louboutin, Gucci, and Balenciaga. The premier luxury brand is designed for men and women and it prides itself on a reputation of quality, diversity, and community. They have continued to elevate their brand by providing an array of designs that combine elegant design with innovative materials, expanding to a variety of loafers, combat boots, and Chelsea boots.
We spoke to Wveighlin about how she started her journey in the luxury footwear business, how she is positioning herself to be a catalyst for change in the industry and what she has in store for the brand.
Read our exclusive Q&A with Ganesia Wveighlin below:
How did you begin your journey into luxury footwear?
I initially started designing shoes for myself then one day, I decided to list the design on an e-commerce website. I had 20 orders overnight. It felt good to have others like the designs that I had created. Giving that amount of support, I started educating myself on fashion history and the ends and outs of shoe designing. Now we are here.
Tell us about the inspiration behind “Caesar Walks.”
The name is inspired by read from a controversial Italian Historian of Julius Caesar’s heritage and a collision of my love for fashion.
How have you been able to uniquely position yourself as a catalyst for change within the luxury footwear business?
CaesarWalks is a true “underdog” story. The catalyst for change that I hope will happen, will be for others to step out on faith even though they might not have all the “experience or education” it may take.
Your designs are bold and expressive, how do you find inspiration when designing?
I find inspiration from everywhere. Photographs, movies, music. A battle scene. They are all forms of art when you consider it. For example, my latest collection of the Women’s Belgian Loafer. The Belgian loafer was traditionally considered a status symbol for the Hamptons social class. I re-designed it in an eco-friendly canvas material and a floral fabric insert on the vamp as an ode to the Hamptons in spring.
How has it been to compete with long-standing luxury brands like Christian Louboutin, Gucci, and Balenciaga?
Exciting! I love a good and healthy competition. Especially with brands you have admired through the years. We want to be the best in luxury shoes so that’s where we are aiming.
Why is it important to see Black women succeed in luxury fashion? How challenging (if it has been) has it been for you to push through the mainstay brands?
Representation matters. It’s inclusive and it reinforces your own perspectives. Seeing Black women success in a male dominated industry is affirming. The challenge in being a newbie fashion brand you must “prove” yourself so to speak. You must prove why you want to and deserve to be as notable as the other big brands.
What sets Caesar Walks a part from the rest? How are you crafting your own lane in the business?
What sets us apart is, you can’t find our “look alike”. I am intentional with how I design our shoes. These are not premade shoes with our logo slapped on them. I design everything down to the aglets and eyelets of the shoe. I believe that is what sets us apart from the rest.
How are you making a significant impact in the fashion industry?
I think the impact lies within the story. I didn’t have the “credentials” so to speak as my other counterparts in the industry. I didn’t even have the investments but here I am with my passion. Letting others know that they can do it too. It’s history in the making.
What would you tell a young Black woman entrepreneur, like yourself, looking to break through the space?
Keep pushing. No matter the obstacles. If you have a passion for it, pull from that energy. You will need all the energy you can fester on your entrepreneurial journey.
What are you most excited for next with your brand and business, Caesar Walks?
We are excited to tap into the metaverse. We are launching our first NFT digital shoe, wearable in Decentraland, this Spring.