Meet the Creator
Canadian-born Tanya Heath works and lives in Paris with her three children, a small cat and her husband who commutes between London and Paris. She studied International Relations and business both in Canada and France and her career was largely in technology and innovation, which prepared her well for her role as founder of TANYA HEATH Paris.
Fashion has always been a passion and she shops boutiques and bazaars the world over for unique pieces that can make an individual style statement and be an asset to her day. Tanya believes women should have the freedom to live life to its fullest and on their own terms and her shoe line of adjustable height heels is meant to do just that. Her shoes match her ideals and are fun, bold, sexy, nurturing, strong, playful, powerful, caring, intelligent and so much more! This is how Tanya sees the modern woman and this is the woman she designs for. Most days Tanya can be found in-between her shop in Paris and her heel factory in Torfou. Trains, planes, and automobiles are her reality but so too are scooters, bikes, the metro and just plain walking. Like you, she is on the run, between work, school meetings, dinner with her husband, a glass of wine with friends or off on a new adventure… Luckily her shoes and heels can take her there.
1. What influenced you to create the multi-height show with interchangeable heels?
I really created it for me. I’m busy and I used to combine a corporate job with looking after 3 young kids. I would spend an entire day wearing heels running around everywhere and ultimately it just hurt too much for me to spend an entire day in heels. I obsessed about finding the perfect pair of high heeled shoes, a pair that would look good and not hurt me but I never did and nothing including gel pads ever made the high heels more livable. So, I began to wonder if it was possible to create a shoe that could go from a high heel to a low heel on the same shoe. I would be able to just change the heel height if it got too painful or wasn’t adapted to my activity. While I did this for me, I thought that this invention would help other busy women manage their days in comfort and style.
2. Who influences your style and how?
Actually, its my body type more than anything. I am a bit pear shaped and the way I dress is determined by my desire to hide certain things and emphasize others. As a result, I have a lot of dresses and long jackets. I like to show my wrists so I almost always role up my sleeves. Paris is uniformly casual chic, in comparison I tend to be a bit more dressed up then your average Parisian. I find it doesn’t take any more time and dressing up makes me feel better. I think looking your best is important.
3. What or who influences your shoe designs and heel designs?
Me and my clients! I work in the Paris shop so I meet a lot of clients. I can see what they wear, I get to talk to them. I try to create shoes that I can imagine them wearing based on what they tell me about their lives. I ask myself, what are they doing? Where do they work? Are they walking? How do they dress? Do they need to show ankle or not? Would they wear blue and if so where – to work – to a party?… We have 3 collections of shoes. The Power Collection is work shoes that are suitable for an entire day at work and cocktails, dinner or whatever after. The Liberty Collection is really influenced by Parisians. I imagine these as shoes that you can stroll in. The Seduction Collection are shoes for going out, we imagine them on a red carpet or at a wedding. The collections are useful design-guide posts for me but I will say that clients appropriate the shoes and use them exactly how they want or in a way that makes sense for them. For example, not everyone has a professional office environment but we do sell a lot of pumps and with casual dressing at work, I know low boots from the Liberty Collection are being worn in the office.
4. Where are Tanya Heath shoes and heels made?
Everything is made in France. Even our leathers are French and Italian. In the summer of 2016 I bought France’s leading heel factory so that I could develop new styles faster and also to ensure optimal quality.
5. What are your style must-haves for this spring/summer?
As I get older, I have accumulated so much, so I’m definitely at a time in my life where I prefer two things; high-quality basics or fun fast fashion that won’t cost much but makes me feel like I’m in style. To be honest I can’t think of a single category of clothing or accessories where I don’t have more than enough, so I have become careful about buying. For the last few years I have tended to buy summer handbags, in bright colours because I really need a break from black. This summer I will be getting my first bikini! As far as must-haves for me its a summer dress. They look great with our shoes and heels and are just so easy to wear. I love the fact that summer dressing is more carefree and fast! I think I save 5 minutes a day in the summer due to easier wardrobe choices.
6. You are an Ottawa-native, currently living in France. Are there certain things you miss about Canada?
What don’t I miss? Its easy to say my friends, my family, the cottage. I do miss these things. But what I really miss are our values. We Canadians are so friendly, open-minded, accepting of difference, smart, polite. It just seems so much of the world is not any of these things any more that I’m fiercely proud to be Canadian. Toronto is so accepting that whenever I’m there I just breath easy!