Elizabeth Anne LeGear (www.elizabethanneshoes.com) recently released "Purse n' Boots" - the world's first purse for your feet. She has patented and introduced the world's first designer leather boots with interior pockets (to hold everything from iphones & change to keys and credit cards).
The boots were publicly launched at the Fashion Has No Borders/Fashion Television Expose hosted on March 26 in Calgary, and are already available for order across Canada and the United States.
What was your “a-ha” moment when you decided to design these shoes? Was it something that happened or something that you saw that gave you the inspiration for this design?
I had been trying to think of something I wanted to do as a business where I wasn’t working your typical 9-5. So I thought the best way to do it was to come up with a really great business, but I don’t know what it is yet. So I put it on the shelf and I let my subconscious do its work.
Then one day I was at the bar and I was pulling my cell phone out of my boot, because I’ve always kept stuff in there, and I thought to myself “you know, it would be really nice if [my boot] had a pocket so I wouldn’t have to reach all the way down to the bottom to grab it”. And then I thought about it and I realized that I hadn’t really seen anything like that before. So that was kind of my “a-ha” moment and then it was just a matter of doing all the google searches and patent searches and hoping I didn’t find it anywhere, which I never did.
Why do you think these boots haven’t been created before? The idea seems so perfect and almost overdue
I’m not too sure.. I actually came across few people who told me “Oh Yeah I thought about that like 3 years ago” but they never really acted on it. That’s kind of what I’m finding is that people had thought of this idea but nobody really did anything about it. The closest thing I had found was this running shoe that had a small pocked for a house key, but that’s the only thing that we found that was close.
My favourite part about these shoes is that they seem so addicting. Once you wear them and you realize how convenient they are, it’ll almost be impossible not to go out with them again. Would you agree?
I would definitely agree! Now I keep thinking of what else we can do with [the patent]. A pocket for a passport would be nice so we are thinking about doing that. We have a million and a half ideas with this idea. I wear my boots all the time. It’s actually the only thing I wear now because I never have to worry about where my phone is because I have such a horrible habit of losing things so now I know that all my things are with me 100% of the time.
Have any retail stores shown interest in these boots?
Yeah we’ve talked to a few, but they’re primarily Western Cowboy Boots type stores. In terms of fashion stores, that’s’ my fault as I haven’t really hit the streets just yet. My goal was to create a following and interest for these shoes, which I have now, before I hit the streets. So step 1 is complete, and step 2 is now going door to door and seeing who wants them.
Given that we are a local publication, our readers would love to hear a little bit about your time here in B.C. How long were you here for before you moved to Calgary? And does being born here on the West Coast impact or influence your design style at all?
Oh definitely. I’ve spent a lot of time on the West Coast. I technically live in Calgary, but I’m from B.C.. All my family and friends all live out there. Vancouver has such a vibrant pulse to it when it comes to fashion. When I was coming up with the first design, I would walk around places like Gastown and Yaletown and kind of scope out the stores and see what the current trends were and kind of get some ideas from them. So [Vancouver] has definitely had some influence on my current designs.
I lived in B.C. for pretty much my entire life up until I moved to Calgary when I was 21 and I’ve been out here for the last 5-6 years. But I’ll probably be moving back to Vancouver in the fall because I miss it a lot!
The NHL playoffs are starting soon, we have to ask where your hockey allegiance lies: Canucks or Flames?
[Laughter]. It’s definitely with the Canucks! Just because you’ve changed cities doesn’t mean you should jump ship and change teams. Don’t worry, I’m still loyal and my allegiances are in the right place!
Thank god! Had you said the Flames we may have had to stop this interview.
I saw on your Facebook page that you’re a fan of the movie Usual Suspects. Be honest, did you know the entire time that Kevin Spacey was Kaiser Soze?
No! I had no idea. I’m one of those people who can be easily dooped, so with that movie it was right over my head until the very end. That’s why I loved it! When his foot and his walk go back to normal I was like “ahhh it was you!”
Last Question. One of my favourite parts of interviewing any talent is getting a chance to tap into their brain and see what else they’re thinking of. So I gotta ask, what should we expect next from Elizabeth Ann?
Expect more varieties of this concept. Now that I’m on a roll I can’t stop thinking of new situations that this could be great in. The one I’m thinking about a lot now is travelling and making a pocket for a passport. I want to create a really comfortable walking shoe that you can walk all over Europe with won’t hurt your feet. Your passport would be with you the entire time and that would be the most important part. I mean, a fanny pack looks good on nobody so this is a good way to hide it on you and nobody will know that your passport is on you.
I also want to create a design for when I go riding. I always lose my phone when I go riding so this way I’ll know its safe. So I just keep trying to think of new ways sand inventive concepts to make sure this idea doesn’t fall by the wayside.
A lot more variety in our catalogue is what to expect this year!