Kira Goodey is an inclusive footwear brand creating genderless statement high heels, launched in October 21.
The direct to consumer brand is sold via its e-commerce platform and Instagram. The shoes are available in a wide range of sizes targeting a diverse niche market of club kids, drag queens and other fashion loving subcultures.
Prior to setting up the business, Kira had an extensive background in fashion & footwear having worked for luxury brands such as Alexander McQueen before undertaking a bespoke shoemaking apprenticeship where she went on to being awarded a Masters in footwear at the Royal College of Art.
Since graduating she worked as a women’s footwear designer for large luxury footwear brands including Jimmy Choo and Nicholas Kirkwood. In addition, as a side line, she set up her own bespoke footwear studio creating sculptural one-off footwear for stage, music videos and fashion runway. She built a high-profile roster of celebrity clients including Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Kylie Jenner, Doja Cat and Nicki Minaj, receiving press from prestigious publications including Vogue Italia, iD, LOVE and Interview Magazine.
During this time, she realised there was a gap in the market as there was demand for statement heels in larger sizes at more accessible price points than bespoke can provide. With her strong connections and over 20K Instagram followers, she felt this presented an opportunity so decided to launch her own eponymous footwear brand.
She initially invested some savings to get started which financed the website design, product development and marketing however needed further finance for prototyping, press samples photoshoots and marketing materials to get the product to market. She was aware of Fashion Angel and their work with Start Up Loans due to their involvement in the RCA Innovate programme for RCA alumni.
“When I was looking into funding, I knew Fashion Angel was helping fashion brands access the government Start Up Loans and was attracted by the business support and mentoring offered. The application process was very quick and clear and I felt supported throughout”.
Of course there have been challenges along the way “my biggest challenge has been finding reliable manufacturers. I have lost a lot of time and money with factories that ultimately were not able to meet my needs”.
“It’s still early days and we still have a long way to go but it now feels achievable. However, without the support from Fashion Angel and finance from Start-Up Loans I would have had to shut up shop a year ago. I absolutely could not have made it this far without them.”
Kira decided to launch her first collection in April 2022 via crowdfunding platform Kickstarter where she successfully ran a campaign exceeding her target of £20K to generate orders worth over £23K. Aside from this helping finance production, it also helped build brand awareness – to date the brand has over 35K followers on Instagram and has a steadily growing mailing list. This exposure has let to around 50% of orders are coming from overseas. Kira has also started running shoemaking classes which have proved to be popular.
Kira’s advice to entrepreneurs starting out “Be prepared for setbacks, and ensure you build in contingency for expenses that you didn’t foresee. Also assume things will take much longer than you plan for. “
Kira’s goal for the next 5 years is to be a successful and profitable direct to consumer footwear label with multiple drops per year and have a shoe making school that runs courses for both profit and charity.
Follow Kira’s journey on www.kiragoodey.com
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