Founder and creative director of Australian footwear brand Sol Sana, Sara Caverley, announced her departure from the business last week.
Caverley spoke with Shoe Trader and said that ultimately, her decision was made based on her feeling that the brand was moving in a direction that was away from the original DNA of the brand.
“I think ultimately what happened there was that I made the decision to move to New York – we were selling here, we were going into Bloomingdales, Revolve, Shopbop is one of our biggest accounts – so I really wanted to come to New York and nurture that business and also focus on the design side and the forward end of the business, just to make sure that we were growing and we were constantly offering something new and exciting and that we were still standing apart from other brands in that area.
“Yeah so that's what happened, I moved here and things are going really well and I think the direction of the brand was improving but I think the aesthetic of the brand was slightly changing.
“Some of our best-selling collections were designed here in New York and I think by me being on the ground here and immersed in the culture and everything about New York – the fashion being cutting edge – I feel like that was really well incorporated into the Sol Sana collection.
“And then on the other hand I feel that what happened between my business partner and I – obviously there was a gap in terms of hemispheres.
“So I think he wanted to steer the collection into – or steer the business – in a direction that I felt was maybe not what the DNA of the brand was.
“I think I always wanted quality with a design edge – that was always my DNA for the brand – and that was the reason why I started the brand – yes I saw a gap [in the market], but I also wanted to offer something that was unique and forward and the price point was there and the quality was there – and I think that's really the essence of why the brand was created in the first place.
“And then I think just since my move here, he was willing to steer it in a different direction, which was away from all those things I just mentioned and for those reasons I just felt – for my own personal growth – it was maybe better for me to shake hands and say, 'ok well I will depart the business,' and officially, since last week, that's been the case.”
However, there is no slowing down or leaving the footwear trade for Caverley. Since announcing her departure from Sol Sana, she has been planning a new footwear collection, which is set to launch in 2019.
“I'm still in the process of nutting [the project] out, because it is still very fresh in terms of the planning of this project for me.
“It'll essentially be – because Sol Sana was me, the DNA – so I am going to take all the good things – and the reason why I started Sol Sana, quality, uniqueness, price point – I'm taking all that and I'm just basically going to add that to my new project.
“I'm going to elevate it as well, so the product will look different.
“It will look like it is going to be a higher price point – I should say it's going to look like a higher price point – but I'm going to do my best to keep it [at the same price], if not better than what Sol Sana was offering, [to] keep it in that area of the market.
“I think the aesthetic is going to change a little bit, but I think for the better.
“My customer is still going to be essentially the same [as] what Sol Sana was. So a fashionable girl who really cares about brands, how she looks and how things all come together but she's really going to like what I'm offering because it's going to be something completely new and exciting.
“So it's a really really exciting time and I feel like I've got so much to put out there.
“There is still really a need for this type for product in the market and I'm just so excited to be free and out there and just do something that I 100% want to do for myself.
“I feel everything to this to moment in time has bought me to this and I feel like it's either now or never and I think I've got all the knowledge and the wisdom to make it successful.
“Sol Sana has been an incredible learning experience and I'm eternally grateful that I was given that chance and that I learnt so much in those eight years.
“I think ultimately, [my time at Sol Sana] has led me to right now and I'm going to take everything that I have learnt and create something that's bigger and better and I think that people will really respond well to.
"I do wish Sol Sana the best, there is no bad blood there or anything. I just feel for my own personal growth that that is inevitably why my decision was to leave.
"And they'll continue on – I'm not too sure what their plans are in terms of their designers or aesthetic or anything like that – but I really wish them all the best," she said.