FAQ : Life After Shoes
I’m confused, isn't Cleo B a shoe brand?
Yes, Cleo B was my shoe brand for 7 years. I designed and produced collections of shoes and sold them internationally. I also designed shoe accessories, such as clip on pom poms, crystal shoe clips and lace locks. I most recently collaborated with Anthropolgie in the UK and USA on a shoe collection, which is where you may have found my designs. In 2016 I decided to make the bold move away from the footwear industry and embark on new projects.
What are these new projects?
I am now creating illustrations, prints and embroidery artwork inspired by my travels, love of vibrant colour and fascination with Art Deco graphics and detailing. I am carrying out commissions and working on artworks for the home.
How can I buy Cleo Barbour artwork?
You can check out what I have on offer in my e-shop (opening February 2018) or you can commission an illustration or embroidery piece. Just drop me an email or an Instagram message. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook to see what artworks I have in the pipeline.
What happened to your famous pom poms?
In 2014 I started making and selling clip on pom pom shoe accessories, which saw the birth of a trend for accessorising your shoes and sneakers with these colourful and fluffy creations. It was a very fun product to work on because back then it was daring and, who doesn’t love a pom pom?! It was also fun to have an excuse to walk around town wearing colourful puff balls permanently on my shoes! As the trend began to spread I started seeing cheap, low quality rip offs on the high street and I realised that I needed to move on. The pom pom has had it’s day, as loveable as it is.
Can I still buy your products anywhere?
You can still buy my accessories, but no longer my shoes. I am still designing a capsule collection of accessories for laces, such as lace locks, lace grills and lace charms under the name Cleo B. I decided to stick to sneaker accessories because they were my most unique product offering and they now run in line with other work I am producing. My shoe stock has sold out and the collaborations and collections I was working on have now finished.
But what exactly are sneaker accessories?
They are fun loving decorative pieces that attach to your laces and look weird and wonderful! Have a look here.
What lead you away from the fashion world?
I started my shoe brand in my early twenties, it having always been my channel vision and dream since the age of 16. The colourful signature of Cleo B became my identity and my lifestyle was so embroiled in Cleo B that I couldn’t ever imagine a world without shoes. However, after 7 years of the fashion world, questions about my future crept in. I was faced with the dilemma of wanting to pursue additional artistic and design routes, but was consumed in running my shoe business full time, in a world that felt less and less like it was my calling. Many months of thoughtful consideration lead me to the life changing decision to stop what I was doing, step back and take some time to work it out. This decision and a new outlook lead me (via the turquoise seas of Mexico, Cuba, Australia and islands of the South Pacific) to a new lifestyle as an artist and designer.
Are you still based in London?
I currently split my time between London and the seaside town of Brighton, UK.
I want to know more.
I would be delighted to elaborate on any of the above, please feel free to email me.