Thea Cadabra became a shoemaker more by chance than design. Leaving University in the 1970's with a language degree, Thea moved to London. This extraordinary decade of innovative free expression was a revelation to her. Immersed in the party spirit and surrounded by creative friends, she quickly found herself exchanging her enthusiasm for things linguistic to artistic!
Thea made her own clothes for the clubs and themed parties but she could never find the right shoes to go with her flamboyant dresses. It wasn't long before she turned her hand to shoemaking – finding a well-established bespoke shoemaker to teach her traditional shoemaking skills. Thea's exotic and colourful handmade shoes were soon appearing in the Sunday Supplements. In 1979 she was awarded First Prize in the Crafts Council Shoe Show, presented to her by Princess Margaret.
Exhibitions followed and her footwear came to be collected by Museums both in the UK and abroad.
Wanting to expand her experience Thea entered the commercial shoe design world. In the 1980's she moved to France and joined Charles Jourdan's design Studio, later to be followed by assisting Beverly Feldman in Spain. Finally she took up a not-to-be-missed invitation to live and work in the USA designing for an East Coast multi-national shoe company.
Thea returned to the UK in 2004 and continued to design commercially. However, with renewed interest in her original handmade shoes (these are featured in some newly published books such as Thames and Hudson's '70's Style and Design') she has recently been inspired to return to her earlier themes and launch a small line of shoes that give freedom once again to her unfettered creative spirit.
Thea Cadabra's shoes are now being made in small family-run factories in Italy and in Spain, where the passion and expert skills for hand shoemaking still thrive.
Thea continues to be passionate about shoes and believes that 'Wearing wonderful shoes is a truly uplifting experience.'
To view Thea's low heeled range of shoes, please click here