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Health, Beauty & Fashion

Footwear fanatic's fantasy come true

To designer Fang Shi Qi, it's more than just shoes.
Asia One - February 10, 2013
By: Cheryl Faith Wee
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Footwear fanatic's fantasy come true

What: Atelier Fang

Where: Mandarin Gallery, 333A Orchard Road, 03-21A

When: 11am to 9pm daily

Who: Designer Fang Shi Qi, 25, who started her own shoe label after graduating in business management from the Management Development Institute of Singapore early last year.

The self-proclaimed shoe fanatic once owned about 200 pairs of shoes, including those by French designer Christian Louboutin and London-based designer Jimmy Choo. Each pair was worth between $700 and $1,500.

Recently, she gave more than half of this shoe collection to friends.

She says: "I do not have the time to wear all of them and some of them I do not like anymore. From now on, I will wear mainly my own designs."

She opened her 500 sq ft boutique, Atelier Fang, at Mandarin Gallery last December. It has a white interior with raw chipboard wooden shelves for her shoes, which she describes as "classic", "sexy" and "provocative".

Only 10 to 12 pairs of each design are produced. Almost all of them are handmade in China with materials from Italy. They cost between $219 and $699.

Ms Fang moved here from China about four years ago. She initially planned to return to China to help her parents with their property business, but then decided to stay here to realise her dream of opening a shoe boutique.

Her mother has always loved shoes too.

Ms Fang says: "When I was around seven years old, instead of taking me to playgrounds, she would take me to shopping malls. I told myself that when I grew up, I would wear shoes like hers."

She visited factories in China to learn how to put shoes together, from the type of heels to the ankle support.

She plans to sell more of her designs in shops here by the end of this year. Two more boutiques in Beijing and Shanghai are also in the works.

The budding shoe designer says: "I cannot let my parents down. It is a lot of stress.

"But it is nice that I finally have my own boutique. Every girl deserves to have a nice pair of shoes."

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