The British Lebanese banker turned designer, Jennifer Chamandi balances a stiletto as well as the books
“My childhood dream was to design shoes… and my mission is to design shoes that inspire others to step into their own power,” says Chamandi who gave up her city banking life at Merrill Lynch to train in the cobbler’s craft. Making beautiful (and comfortable shoes) is as much about precision and engineering as it is about materials and that’s where Chamandi’s collection stands out, attracting fans from Bella Hadid, Amal Clooney to global CEO’s. “For me, everything is a mathematical equation,” says the left brain/right brain entrepreneur who wore stilettos on the trading floor as part of her uniform.
Her standout patented design is the ‘talon aiguille,’ featuring a gold plated ‘eye’ or hole in the heel threaded with a thin buckled strap which she has fashioned in numerous hues and materials from glossy metallics to subtle suedes. The design detail helps posture and balance which is a welcomed reintroduction to wearing heels after years of pandemic era sneakers and flats. Chamandi is perhaps her own best muse and wears her heels with skinny trousers, a Dior Bar jacket and striking jewellery. Her husband, Roberto runs the family owned Boghassian brand.
“Their paintings were regarded not as images but as events, and they were an important catalyst for changing ideas around aesthetics, poetry, philosophy and politics in their distinct and particular regions."
Exhibition Curator, Laura Smith
To get the collection off the ground, Chamandi, learnt Italian and spent months door-stepping specialist Italian makers to find a manufacturing partner which is no easy task when contracts are often driven by big minimum orders. A family run atelier recognised her potential and production got underway. “It is often said that if you speak to someone in their language, it's a way to their heart. My corporate banking background gave me the tools to run a business; for example, budget management, negotiation tactics are all crucial to any entrepreneurial journey,” she adds.
The Spring collection features classics as well as new additions including the Vittoria, a slingback pump; a pretty Tweed Toe flat and a crystal-embellished Roberto platform (named after her husband) which looks fabulous with flares and maxi skirts.