London-based designer Isabel de La Roche has a decade of experience in the footwear industry, ranging from luxury (Adele Clarke) and bespoke (Caroline Groves) to cult (Swear & B Store), lifestyle sports (Fila, Fitflop & Hummel) and international retailer (Kurt Geiger).

Most recently, Isabel has established herself as a freelance designer with Thakoon LLC.

Her fashion education came via a Foundation Course in Art & Design at London College of Fashion, leading to a degree in Footwear Design at the prestigious Cordwainers. Isabel was awarded The Worshipful Company of Cordwainers Bursary in 2002 and represented Cordwainers at Graduate Fashion Week in 2004.



Personal Profile

A creative and versatile footwear & accessories designer with 10 yearsʼ industry experience who can work at speed and deliver successful seasons.
I combine excellent commercial understanding with trend awareness, having worked on a variety of product categories that include casual, formal,
eveningwear and sport. Brand experience ranges from cult & visionary labels, contemporary, lifestyle sports to luxury & bespoke.

Career History

Mar 14 – Present Thakoon LLC www.thakoon.com – London based
Freelance Footwear Designer/ Head of Development for Thakoon Runway & Thakoon Addition collections. Italian & Portuguese factories.

Jul 12 – Feb 14 Kurt Geiger Ltd / The Jones Group www.kurtgeiger.com – London
Senior Womenʼs Designer for KG Kurt Geiger collection. Managing one assistant designer and one- two interns.
– Responsible for creating & designing a distinctive urban identity for the KG Kurt Geiger brand.
– Product categories included occasion, formal, casual and fashion sneakers.
– Key product range building with buyers for a collection of 200 options bought per season.
– Trend & market research, development of mood boards, colour palette & material selection.
– Designing & developing new lasts, heels, outsoles and upper patterns.
– Providing detailed tech and colour spec packs.
– Carrying the design process from sketch through to fitting and sign off stage.
– Managing the communications with factories in Europe, Brazil, India and China & undertaking seasonal factory trips.
– Seasonal sign-off meetings with the CEO, Creative Director, Merchandisers & Buyers.

Jul 09 – Jun 12 Isabel de La Roche Limited – London
Freelance Consultant Womenʼs Footwear & Accessories Designer for clients that included:
– Etienne Deroeux www.etiennederoeux.com – Paris / Oct 11 – Jun 12
Designed, sourced & sample monitored the runway footwear collection for avant-garde designer Etienne Deroeux. Italian factories.
– Caroline Groves www.carolinegroves.co.uk – London / Jun 11 – Apr 12
Designed luxury made-to-order capsule collections for British shoe maker that involved working with leading goldsmiths and craftsmen.
– The Footsoldiers Consultancy www.thefootsoldiers.com – London / Sep 10 – Feb 12
Designed the women’s fashion sport footwear ranges for brands that included FILA, FitFlop & WESC.
Designed the women’s fashion sport trend forecasting ranges for WGSN.
– Isabel de La Roche handbags – London / Aug 10 – Jun 12
Created, designed & developed my own line of contemporary made-to-order handbags. Italian suppliers, Portuguese factory.
– Esteban Cortazar – Paris / Nov 09 – Dec 10
Designed, sourced & sample monitored the womenʼs footwear range for luxury designer Esteban Cortazarʼs collaboration with Exito.

Feb 06 – Jun 09 b Store Ltd. (SIX LONDON) shop.bstorelondon.com www.swear-london.com – London
Senior Designer for visionary label & boutique b Store and cult label Swear (the latter included menʼs).
– Managing one freelance and one junior designer and overseeing the entire development process.
– Critical path planning , range building, concept creation & designing women’s, menʼs and unisex collections.
– Production sourcing & development in Portugal, Italy and China.
Collaborations : Responsible for designing joint projects such as ones with Peter Jensen, Fred Perry, Hummel, D.I.E., & Topman
Licensing : Range building of licensed brand Eley Kishimoto
Production Projects: Product development in the Far East for Comme Des Garcons, Acne Studios, Margaret Howell, AllSaints

Sep 04 – Feb 06 Adele Clarke (Bloomsbury Footwear Design Ltd.) www.adeleclarke.com – London
Assistant designer to Adele Clarkeʼs own luxury shoe line & consultancy-based clients that included Tanner Krolle, TopShop and Closed.

Aug 04 – Feb 06 Caroline Groves Ltd. www.carolinegroves.co.uk – London
Designer & Production Assistant to renowned British womenʼs bespoke shoemaker.

May 04 – Jun 04 Georgina Goodman Ltd. www.georginagoodman.com – London
Full-time work placement in the making workshop. Hand-making of shoes & accessories.

Skills Summary

Creative & Technical Languages
– Thorough research & trend analysis skills
– Strong sketching, detailed hand drawing & rendering
– Excellent presentation & communication skills
– Proficient in Illustrator / Photoshop – Mac & Windows
– Practical knowledge of footwear constructions, techniques & finishes
– Experience with multiple manufacturing countries


English & Spanish (fluent written and spoken)
Italian & Portuguese (Basic with footwear vocabulary)
French (beginners)

Education and Qualifications

Jan 10 – Mar 10 Bag Design & Communication (evening course). Central Saint Martins / UAL – London
Oct 01 – Jun 04 BA (Hons) 2.1 Footwear Design & Development. Cordwainers at London College of Fashion / UAL – London
– Represented footwear at Graduates Fashion Week 2004
– Winner of the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers Travel Bursary 2002
Sep 00 – Jun 01 BTEC Foundation in Art and Design (Merit). London College of Fashion / UAL – London