Fearless Fashion Females: Vanessa Noel

by Victoria Urso for the CFDA Newsletter (10/06/2017)


Vanessa Noel reached the 30-year mark as the sole owner of her luxury shoe company, but don’t assume that it means she plans to slow down. Since the launching her brand, she opened up two hotels and a contemporary art gallery, and she will soon be opening a shoe museum. Noel pays tribute to the women who worked tirelessly before her to open doors and create opportunities for other females who strive to make an impact throughout their life.

What is one piece of advice that you would give someone who is at the start of their career?

Never Give Up!

Who is your most admired cultural heroine? Why?

It is difficult for me to pick just one female heroine to admire. It’s all women who have fought and struggled throughout history, whether they succeeded or failed—heroines are women who have helped to shape the world we live in today. They have permitted me to launch and run my own luxury shoe company for the last 30 years.

What moment, in your career or personal life, are you most proud of?

It has not always been easy but I never gave up and this year I am most proud to announce my 30th anniversary designing, manufacturing and being the sole owner and president of Vanessa Noel Shoes.

Women’s roles in society have changed dramatically over the past several decades. How have these changes had a personal impact on you?

Women’s roles have changed so dramatically in the past several decades. It is still inconceivable to me that women were first allowed to have credit cards in 1975. I was 13 years old! Today, I am able to own and run my two hotels, a large contemporary art gallery on Nantucket and preside over my eponymous shoe company based in NYC.

What future goals do you have for yourself?

The last two years, I have been ensconced in my new project that I am most passionate about. I am opening The Vanessa Noel Shoe Museum. It will be the first of its kind in New York City and in the U.S. The mission of the Vanessa Noel Shoe Museum is to further the education and preservation of footwear, celebrating the creativity and imagination of shoes through curated exhibitions, and showcasing the best collaborations in fashion, design, history and manufacturing of footwear. I will also continue to design my own collections of luxury shoes and handbags for all Fearless Fashion Females.

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