News

October.20.2012

Liebe Hsing is a new footwear brand that highlights Taiwan’s traditional shoemaking industry

By Catherine Shu /  Staff Reporter

Former fashion marketer Hsing-ju Lin (林倖如) wrote a master’s thesis entitled “Stylistic Change in Women’s Footwear” at the University of Leeds and enjoys poring over books about the history of shoemaking. Lin’s interest in shoes, however, is not purely academic. Her year-old brand Liebe Hsing is dedicated to creating stylish women’s footwear while drawing attention to traditional shoemaking in Taiwan.

Once an important part of the export industry, the number of craftspeople who make shoes by hand began to decline sharply in the mid-1980s after many jobs were outsourced to China and Southeast Asia. All of Liebe Hsing’s colorful, classic designs are produced by the Juisheng Shoemaking Center (瑞晟鞋樣中心), a tiny Greater Taichung workshop run by Lu Kuang-mao (呂光茂), who has over 30 years of shoemaking experience.

Traditional shoemaking “is a part of Taiwan’s culture. I’m still a new brand, but I’ve already thought of how to bring it forward to a new generation,” says Lin, adding that her goal is to make footwear that will last for years.

“My challenge is creating a design that people will look at in three decades and still want to use because it looks contemporary and not outdated,” she says.

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