Monday, October 02, 2017

Luminous Ray, a Lewre brand 20 years in the making

Dato' Lew is no stranger to the local shoemaking industry, having made a name for himself even since before he launched his Lewre (pronounced "lew-ray") brand in 1997.

The Lewre history was an interesting one as Dato' Lew himself started venturing into the shoemaking business, a business he himself didn't know he had a penchant for until he started working in a shoe factory.

The "I Love You" Collection, a signature colelction which will be a mainstay in the bespoke range

His road to fame first started as an OEM and then ODM manufacturer under the Roondy Trading trade name. After many years of selling shoes around the world, he then decided to build an empire under his own bespoke collections, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The I Love You collection was inspired by Lady Diana.

In 1995, Dato' Lew met Dato' Jimmy Choo in Germany at a shoe exhibition. And he thought to himself, if Jimmy can do it, then Dato' Lew himself can also surely carve a name for himself in such a niche industry as shoemaking.

In 1997, he finally took the plunge and decided to build the brand. The inspiration for the name itself was a special one as it was a combination of his surname (Lew) and Rundy Enterprises, a company Dato' Lew himself owns.

and there's no stopping him since.

Fast forward 20 years, the Lewre Bespoke name has etched itself into the minds of the locals of Malaysia. So much so that in the past years, Dato' Lew has been requested to create shoes for the likes of Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, First Lady of China Peng Liyuan, Dato' Sheila Majid, and Dato' Siti Nurhaliza, amongst others.

The Royal Puteria, one of the six items designed by Dato' Lew for the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton

In conjunction with its 20 years of existence, a galleria to display Lewre's creations were displayed for the public to see and appreciate the 20 years of diligence and milestones achieved by the brand.

The galleria showcases a brief write-up of the thought processes of the many intricate designs and values behind each artwork and shoe creation. He also took this opportunity to launch his coffee table book, Luminous Ray, a collection of the 20 years of Lewre, recounting his experiences and story in building the Lewre brand to what it is today.

The invited bloggers were given a chance to tour the galleria with Dato' Lew, and it was truly an inspiration hearing from the man himself on the different items he drew inspiration from.

The Exotic Chorak, a lace ensemble created for Kate Middleton, reflecting a taste of Malaysia, with the beautiful corak design.

Shoemaking is an art, and being an artist himself, he sees with not only his eyes, but his heart as well, and he appreciates what he sees. Consequently, he translates his inspiration into his shoe designs, and he constantly pushes the boundaries of his creativity, to create and make his vision a reality.

We were also privy to him sketching a shoe design, as, from an artistic perspective, the art of the shoe begins with the first stroke. Every subsequent stroke after that is a representation of what he envisions for the shoe to be based on the character and personality of the prospective owner of the shoe.

The Taklamakan Desert, designed for the First lady of China, Peng Liyuan

For example, the First Lady of China Peng Liyuan, as China is famous for its Taklamakan Desert, one of the largest sandy deserts in the world, situated in Northern China. The colour chosen for the shoe is gold, symbolising empowerment, grace, and elegance. The waves of the sand dunes were also reflected in the material chosen to create the shoe, and adorned with Swarovski Crystals, adding a touch of sparkle and royalty to the shoe.

Inspired by the lacquered walls of the Forbidden City gates, the tall platform of the shoes were inspired by the 'ge ge', meaning Princess in mandarin, who used to wear shoes with platforms

Being a well travelled person, he also draws inspiration from the many daily activities and things. For example, the lacquered walls of the Forbidden City gates, Xiao Long Bao, and even a pair of chopsticks!

Inspired by the Xiao Long Bao, a chinese dim sum delicacy

When asked why did he not want to design mens' shoes, he cheekily replied, it is always ladies' first! The day the ladies' of the world decides not to wear shoes, that will be the day he will start to design shoes for men.

Simplicity, the shoe designed for Dato' Siti Nurhaliza's wedding

Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz and Dato' Jimmy Choo, the two stalwarts that were instrumental in getting Lewre off the ground

His parting words to us were, if we were to embark on something, or even just to do one thing, to do it with passion. Be wholehearted, and positive, pushing forward without hesitation. There will be challenges and obstacles that come our way, but what's important is not to stop halfway, rather be steadfast, and ensure that you perform to the fullest of your potential.

Dato' Lew himself is the embodiment that perseverance and hard work do pay off, and I aspire to be like him one day.

Seeing him and where he is today, I am inspired to commit to what I do to the best of my ability and to never give up.

Have you seen the galleria? Let me know what you think!

Til the next time, stay beautiful!


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