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Alumna Finds Joy When Customers Put on Her Shoes

February 2019

Tori SoudanTori Soudan, C’96, believes that fine design can also be comfortable, which is the motivation for her company, Tori Soudan Shoe Collection. Launched in 2011, Soudan’s footwear has adorned the feet of several A-list celebrities including Debbie Allen, Angela Bassett, Danielle Brooks and Carrie Underwood.

Tori designs "stories" through her designs that express the unstoppable Tori Soudan woman, and that inspire women to look into their closet with fresh eyes.

One of the few African-American woman shoe designers in the world, her collection is an outgrowth of her experiences visiting an Italian shoemaker in Venice, Italy, during her junior year. But it was her grandmother who inspired her initial interest in clothing design.

Patchwork Pumps are a tribute to my grandmother. She would either make clothes from scratch, or transform an old pair of pants, a table cloth, or whatever she could find, into a beautiful skirt or dress,” she said. “Now, as a shoe designer, it gives me great joy when someone puts on a pair of my shoes and I see a shift in their mood. It's confidence.”

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