Shoe Designer Reimagining Women’s Luxury Footwear
The Storied Life had the immense privilege to interview Theresa Ebagua, a Nigerian-born, L.A. and London-based footwear designer. In 2012, Theresa’s vision for luxury footwear inspired by her African heritage was brought to life—and Chelsea Paris was born. Named for her daughters, Chelsea and Paris, the brand is the embodiment of diverse creativity, global perspective, and timeless luxury.
European craftsmanship and sustainable design practices are seamlessly fused with Theresa’s African-inspired designs, colors, and prints. Chelsea Paris shoes are designed for conscientious free spirits who refuse to compromise. The brand has been worn by Beyoncé, Lupita Nyong’o, Selena Gomez, Zendaya, and most recently Abby Phillips of CNN.
About Chelsea Paris
Chelsea Paris was founded by Theresa Ebagua, a Nigerian-born, Los Angeles and London-based Black footwear designer. Ebagua first decided to pursue her passion for design after leaving the tech industry to attend Ars Sutoria in Italy, where she learned the ins and outs of footwear design and production.
Ebagua was inspired to launch her own brand named for her two daughters, (Chelsea and Paris) when she realized there were very few Black, female designers in the space. She wanted her young daughters to be encouraged by her own success in business and to follow their passion – it was also important that the brand honor her Nigerian heritage with unique material combinations, juxtaposed with art deco influences.
Chelsea Paris first launched in 2012 to high accolades. and was sold at Barneys, Nordstrom, and other luxury retailers globally. The brand was also worn by many celebrities including Beyoncé, Lupita Nyong’o, Selena Gomez, Kendall Jenner, Rosario Dawson and Taylor Swift, among others. While Ebagua did have early success with the brand, she was apprehensive about fully embracing her heritage in her designs and felt pressured by wholesalers, consultants, and investors to stifle her identity in order to appeal to a larger customer base.
After a three-year hiatus and working to find her voice and reignite her passion for design, Ebagua relaunched Chelsea Paris for Fall 2020 – this time empowered as her authentic self and proud of her heritage.
Shop Featured Shoes from Our Podcast Interview
We loved learning more about Chelsea Paris. Supporting black-owned businesses is central to the work of The Storied Life. We hope you enjoy this interview. Be sure to sign up for our monthly newsletter to receive an update when new Podcast episodes go live!
Use Promo Code TSL25 for 25% off when you Shop Chelsea Paris or visit our Brands section for more black-owned brands we love!
*Promo code good until June 30, 2021
Photo Credit: Theresa Ebagua – Chelsea Paris – Courtesy of House of PR