First One In, Last One Out: In the Shoes of an Entrepreneur Written by Janan Leo, Founder & Creative Director of Cocorose London I’m often asked about how and why I set up Cocorose London and what it’s like running my own business. As an entrepreneur in the fashion industry, the glamour and glitz often mask the daily highs and lows that go on behind the scenes and the whole-hearted team effort that goes into creating a beautiful, international brand. My passion here is to unfold the emotions that run with every step of being my own entrepreneur and to lay bare what it’s like being in my shoes. Find me on twitter and Instagram @jananleo with the hashtag #InMyCocorose. __________________________________________________________ It's no secret that over the decades, fashion and comfort have actively side stepped each other. In the past few years however, the athleisure trend has been on the rise, and sports brands have made an incredible comeback. But for women who aren't looking to wear their trainers to and through work, how do they ensure they look fashionable whilst also staying comfortable? The blissful thought of comfort will have any Miranda Priestly shuddering in her Louboutins but seriously, for the high flying and multi-tasking women of today, there are important goals to achieve, so feeling fit and comfortable, both physically and mentally, is essential. Centuries ago, women wore uncomfortable and tight corsets and thankfully, more forgiving materials such as lycra and jeggings have been developed to help us breathe easy. However, it seems that the uncomfortable accessory has moved from our waists to our feet, with slender and towering high heels pinching and crushing our toes and joints with each unbearable second. As womens designer shoes have moved into the spotlight to become fashion's darlings, women's feet have become victims, often suffering for fashion, with uncomfortable high heels (and let's not forget those hard and inflexible flats) frequently causing bunions and other ailments. A bunion is a painful, bony lump that can develop at the base of the big toe, on the side of your foot, which in turn deforms the foot shape. Although bunions are mainly thought to be hereditary, it is more than likely that wearing uncomfortable shoes with distinct pressure points on sensitive joints may contribute to increased bunion development. Lamentably, harm done to feet is often permanent and if action isn't taken to prevent further damage, the result can be extreme pain and misshapen feet. As both a woman and founder of footwear brand Cocorose London, I'm often reminded of when I was growing up and the challenges that my mum went through to find comfortable yet stylish shoes that wouldn't exert pressure on her joints. This resonated with me over the years and has inspired me to create shoes for stylish women who lead busy lifestyles and so require shoes to be both comfortable and on-trend. My new Bloomsbury ballerinas and Wimbledon loafers are part of my latest SS17 collection and are not only perfect for those seeking contemporary, stylish and incredibly comfortable flats, but also, for those suffering from bunions. Handcrafted from beautifully soft leather, these flats are purposely designed to be seamless around the foot, so avoiding any pressure points, whilst still maintaining the utmost elegance. Available in pretty pastels, classic tonal colours and fabulous florals, Cocorose's flats will work hard for you from day to evening and smart to casual. I've never been the A-student of conformity, so for me, fashion need not mean uncomfortable. Fashion should be worn proudly, like your second skin, so you should feel comfortable on the outside and inside, physically, emotionally and mentally, in order to portray yourself in your best way. Women today, more than ever before, lead increasingly busy lifestyles, and we need footwear that will carry us through and work seamlessly with our every day. Comfort must not be a taboo. My raison d'etre for Cocorose London remains to create beautiful and stylish shoes that are also comfortable and practical, so bringing a touch of luxury, ease and convenience to our busy lifestyles. On those occasions when only heels will do, I've created a fabulous range of foldable shoes that are presented in their matching travel purses, so making it easy for you to carry in your handbag or hand luggage and swap out of your heels when required. This way, you can have the freedom to wear heels, flats... or both! Even better, with a pair of our foldable shoes on hand, you'll be safe knowing that if you've got a long day (and night) ahead, you needn't worry about wearing your heels for hours on end. If I may be so bold, I'd go so far as to say that perhaps even Miranda Priestly would have had a sneaky pair of Cocorose's foldable shoes tucked away in her Prada handbag, ready to whip out and change into when her Louboutins would start to pinch!