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Deux Souliers: Two Shoes, One Life

23 October, 2012

Deux Souliers. Autumn / Winter 2012

Nunu Solsona founded Deux Souliers in 2010. The company, whose name means “Two Shoes” in French, produces fashion footwear and is the lifeblood of this young, creative entrepreneur.

Designer, businesswoman, teacher and entrepreneur… Nunu Solsona wears many hats. And that is why, at least for the moment, the artist’s life revolves exclusively around Deux Souliers.

“Getting a  company off the ground isn’t easy. This is my life and if I lived it any other way, the business wouldn’t succeed,” says the designer, adding that “running your own business makes you a better all-round designer. I am learning to be a businesswoman and I am very aware that a bad business decision could lead to irreversible consequences.”

Open to the world

We interviewed Solsona in her studio in Barcelona’s Gràcia neighbourhood just a few days after she had returned from a fair in Paris and a workshop at the Hiko Mizuno art school in Tokyo. “I was able to explain firsthand how you create a collection, develop a marketing campaign, interact with providers and manage clients – all from the perspective of a young businessperson. The goal of the meeting was to round out the profiles of the students, who are highly creative and inspirational,” notes the artist with pleasure. In fact, she has already made plans to repeat the workshop next year. 

Japan is an important market for Deux Souliers, as are Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Her commitment to fresh designs with a clear identity and a balanced blend of the commercial and personal have given the firm a magnificent business card for the boutiques and representatives it currently works with across the globe.

Bigger and better

Deux Souliers has been in business for two years, produces two thousand pairs of shoes each season and is currently in the midst of an internationalisation process. From time to time, the company also collaborates with established footwear firms such as Camper, developing designs for them.

Demand for Deux Souliers products is on the rise, especially on foreign markets. “It’s all a matter of planting seeds and seeing how they grow,” says Solsona, when discussing the company’s international expansion process. In this vein, one of the issues that most concerns the designer is meeting deadlines and maintaining quality in the production process. She knows this is the key for the company’s growth and so has plans in place to continue to improve these aspects of the business. As she says, “All of our production is done in Spain, in Alicante. It’s important to be able to keep a close eye on it. We have to adjust the machines for every model of shoe we make and our products require a lot of loving care.”

Looking to the future

So how was the company born? According to Solsona, “everything was a lot simpler than it may seem.” The creative director of Deux Souliers started making shoes as a result of her contact with some of the most important master shoemakers in Catalonia, such as Josep Cunillera and Norman Vilalta. First, as her final project at the Catalan Fashion Institute, Solsona created a heel for a dance shoe. Later, while working for the Furest fashion design company, she was in charge of the leather goods department. It was then, and thanks to some initial collaboration with a colleague, that she decided to embark on the path towards founding her own business.

Today, one of her dreams is to develop her own mould. Such a project could cost as much as 14,000 euros and for the moment she still cannot recoup the cost of this investment. “Developing your own moulds grants you utter creative freedom,” says the designer.

One thing is certain about Nunu Solsona’s future: she will keep on making shoes. She hopes they continue to be sold under the name Deux Souliers. As she says, “I hope the project bears fruit in the near future and that everyone who has invested in Deux Souliers can enjoy the results, whether in terms of a good salary or indirect benefits.”

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