An Israeli brand with a mission to provide women with comfortable, stylish footwear that is eco-conscious and sustainable. Doron Vaknin Draper talks to us about her inspiration and motivations to craft vegan shoes, with styles ranging from sophisticated classics to eclectic statement pieces.
When and where did your brand D’ORO begin?
My brand started in 2017 out of a huge love for shoes. Whilst I was studying shoe design I switched to a vegetarian lifestyle and after being exposed to alternative leather materials, I made the decision to start a brand for vegan shoes.
How would you describe yourself and your brand?
Vegan shoe brand for stylish women, designed to suit women of all ages.
What inspires you and your designs?
I draw inspiration from both my grandmothers who came from Morocco and Poland. I’m also inspired by other cultures, my childhood, architecture and iconic figures. I really just see my environment and the whole world as an inspiration from which I can generate ideas.
As a shoe designer, how do you successfully provide both comfortability and design in your pieces?
When I design shoes, I emphasize comfort as much as I emphasize the distinguishability of the item. When a woman walks in shoes that are uncomfortable for her, the act of walking itself changes and the shoe no longer looks as nice. I believe when a woman walks with confidence and comfort, she feels the most beautiful.
Which part of the creative process do you enjoy the most, and the least?
The part I enjoy the most is scribbling sketches on my iPad. Of course, I also love seeing the finished product once everything is complete.
The change between seasons is the least enjoyable part for me as the shift in production usually happens around this time, and it can be difficult.
What do you find to be the most difficult aspect of running your own label?
Finding and establishing your own path.
How long does it take to finish a product, from the initial design to the finished creation?
The whole process from the initial design to the receipt of the shoes can take up to two months.
Sustainability appears to be a very important cause to you. Why is that, and how do you implement it into your brand?
The real reason is that it’s hard for me to think about making shoes using animal leather.
I think we’re living in a world that is able to create substitutes and alternative solutions which can prevent a lot of suffering in the food, fashion and cosmetics industries. So, since we have access to these solutions, there is no real reason not to use these instead.
Which pieces in your collection do you think are must-haves for our readers?
It’s very difficult for me to choose. I try to make each item in the collection distinctive and the collection itself is very diverse to suit a wide range of women. Our regular customers enjoy various models, but if I really had to choose, then the Mag and Poli models are our best sellers.
What are your short and long-term goals for D’ORO?
At the moment, my main goal is to safely get through COVID-19. However, in the short-term, I do hope to develop the brand to include more products. In the future, I also hope to get D’ORO products out to the whole world with more pieces, not just shoes.
What attracted you to The Clothing Lounge?
What is better than a platform that promotes sustainable fashion? It is a place for designers who are inspired by and create green, sustainable fashion.
You can check out D’ORO’s other pieces on their Instagram @doro_design.
And, on the website at www.doro-design.com.