Shontelle & Fashion TV Host Hofit Golan visited Samantha Thavasa’s NYC Boutique on Friday November 20th, 2012.
Back in 2010, Bajan born beauty Shontelle was shouting her songs of heartbreak from the roof tops and writing on the skyline on the smash hit “Impossible,” which earned her over 50 million YouTube views.
Known for her ballads of heartbreak and breakups, the singer has recently switched lanes, designed some shoes, and is planning a full-force return to conquer both the music and fashion realms.
GlobalGrind had the opportunity to catch up with the singer to talk about everything from the inspiration behind her new line, to how she feels about being compared to Rihanna.
GlobalGrind: Can you explain how each of the 4 styles of boots from the line epitomizes the essence of your home country?
Shontelle: The colorways of each boot are inspired by the ocean and the flora and fauna of Barbados. The name of each boot is a place in Barbados of significance to me. The trident (which is featured on the tongues and inner lining of each boot) represents my heritage. It is actually a broken trident (the staff is short because it has been broken). It is prominent on our flag and is our national symbol of independence. I apply that to my life. I feel as though I have had to embrace and conquer the seemingly impossible and find my own independence. This collaboration is an expression of that desire and of all my hopes and dreams. Read More.
Singer/songwriter Shontelle is branching out! The talented songstress is showcasing her design skills with her new CAT x SHONTELLE footwear collection, which debuted during New York Fashion Week. Joonbug had the opportunity to chat with the gal of many trades about the inspiration behind the collection, her plans for the future, and more.
What made you want to get into fashion? And more specifically, footwear?
I guess the default answer is because CAT Footwear makes just that. SHOES! And beautiful BOOTS! I actually wore CATs throughout most of my school life. Not only because they were perfect with my school uniforms but they lasted forever (I only replaced them when I outgrew a size) and they were waterproof. So of course my parents loved that! In Barbados, if the bottom of your school shoes didn’t flash yellow, you weren’t cool. So thanks to CAT I’ve always been a “cool kid.” Always been an Earth Mover! My grandmother was also obsessed with shoes and apparently, according to my family, she passed that on to me. They feel as though this line is Ms. Delia, living through me…
How did you come up with the name for your collection?
The collection itself doesn’t yet have a name because the project just started out as a one time collaboration. So for now it’s called the CAT x SHONTELLE collection. Or simply CATs by Shontelle. But it felt so fun and so right that CAT Footwear decided to continue the collection for another season. Hopefully we can keep this going for a long time and eventually develop a full SHONTELLE line with its own established department and name. However, the names of the boots were all inspired by and derived from places in Barbados that were special or significant to my childhood. “Bridegtown” – The capital city of Barbados and also where I was born and first lived; “Bajan” – self explanitory; “Xtreme” – The name of my favorite night club where I most frequented. Unfortunately its now closed; “Sandy Lane” – My favorite Beach/Club Resort in Barbados.
What type of woman do you envision wearing your footwear?
All girls will want to wear my boots but they will be especially appreciated by girls and women on the go. Girls who lead busy lives and move around alot but want to feel beautiful and confident. The shoes on your feet affect your gate and the way you stand. Your posture is a reflection of your confidence. CATs by SHONTELLE were designed with all of this in mind. They are definitely designed to cater to a more fashionable girl but I didn’t overdo it so as to exclude the more conservative girl. But conservative doesn’t mean not fashionable or lacking confidence. Fashion comes in many forms. It’s the way we express ourselves. In essence, confident girls and girls who want to feel confident will wear CAT boots. Read more here.
Recently, as a part of the official Fashion’s Night Out for Caterpillar at Harney and Sons in Soho, I hung with singer and spokeswoman Shontelle who was there to promote her new line of boots with Cat Women. The place was packed with buyers and Shontelle fans who came to hear her sing her international mega-hit, “Impossible” – but before she welcomed her legions of fans, she wanted to share something with Socially Superlative, and luckily I was on hand to take note.
Darrel: What is the story you’re telling with these boots?
Shontelle: It all started out with the Earth Mover campaign Caterpillar started for strong women. In America, people don’t realize Caterpillar is a global brand, the US is the company’s smallest market but this brand is worldwide. They decided to bring me on board to help them establish a new face for the brand of Cat women specifically for strong women who are fashionistas, fierce on and off the trail.
Darrel: Is this part of a larger plan?
Shontelle: It was a seed that got planted and it started growing. They later approached me about designing a few shoes and it just went from there, and now this is how Cat is reinventing themselves.
Darrel: How is this part of your reinvention?
Shontelle: Especially in the Pop genre, you have to stay relevant. For me this was an outlet for my fashion style with a company I trust. I always felt there was a way to do rugged boots that are sleek and sexy for today’s modern woman. I live in NYC and ain’t nobody trying to be walking in stilettos on cobble stone and brick in Soho. So I thought, how could I design boots for the Soho sheik downtown chic who is also a lady. This is fly to hit the club but you could go shopping in these, and at the same time your feet are not going to hurt. And if it starts raining, your pedicure will be safe. Read More Here.
Talking with Grammy Nominated Singer/Songwriter Shontelle-By Tifini Lewis
It’s Fashion Night Out, the official start of Mercedes Benz Fashion
Week Fall 2012. I had the opportunity to catch a few moments with Shontelle, singer of such hits as “Impossible”, “T-Shirt”, and “Perfect Nightmare”. She’s also a hit songwriter for the likes of Rihanna, Estelle and Eve. Right before she debuted her brand new Fall/Winter CAT Footwear collection at Harney & Son’s Soho, we sat down and chopped it up about her upcoming projects and plans for the future. I reached for her hand to shake, but she reached out to me and hugged me. She said that “that’s how we greet people around here”. I was much obliged, and already felt good about this wonderfully human superstar.
Tifini: I know you‘ve been busy since your latest album No Gravity, how has life been for you since its release?
Shontelle: It’s been crazy, but in a good way! I’ve been working on my third album which is scheduled to release next year. I’ve been touring, constantly writing, and now expanding to fashion with my new boot line with CAT.
Tifini: How did you come to having your own boot line?
Shontelle: I was finishing up a webisode series, and the producer approached me about fashion endorsements. I had been named an “Earth Mover” by CAT for their Earth Mover Campaign, so it seemed like a natural progression. CAT wanted to brand more in to fashion, so we began to collaborate.
Tifini: It seems almost like you cannot be a musical artist without having some sort of fusion with the fashion industry…
Shontelle: That’s right. There’s an expectation to brand yourself in all arenas, especially merging fashion with music. Since I am known as a “Pop Artist”, that is an important element I cannot leave out. It’s about maximizing your potential.Read More Here.
Last night was a special one for Shontelle Layne.
The Barbados-born singer and songwriter performed at a Fashion’s Night Out event in New York to celebrate the debut of her new shoe line with CAT Footwear. Shontelle, who describes herself as a “creator and a chameleon who fits in where and when I need to,” definitely stood out last night.
The singer, known for co-writing hits such as Alison Hinds’ ‘Roll It Gal,’ and Rihanna’s ‘Man Down,’ and singing her own songs ‘T-Shirt’ and ‘No Gravity,’ professes that she’s always been business-minded. Her partnership with CAT is just one example of that.
Shontelle’s collaboration with CAT Footwear began more than two years ago when she was selected to be an ambassador for the brand’s Earth Movers campaign. After the success of that venture, CAT proposed the idea of doing a capsule collection. Now the capsule collection is a reality and she’s gearing up for her third studio album.
We caught up with Shontelle earlier this week to discuss her CAT collaboration, her design philosophy and the impact growing up in Barbados had on her life. Keep reading to learn more.
Madame Noire: Your relationship with CAT Footwear began almost two years ago. How did the collaboration come about?
Shontelle Layne: My collaboration with CAT came about when Peter Flores, the director who filmed a web docuseries on me, introduced me to Jennifer Reeves, global marketing for CAT Footwear. Jenn and I bonded immediately as I shared stories of my life and my career. She decided I would be the perfect Earth Mover. After doing the Earth Mover Campaign I was approached by Jenn and CAT to do a collection. I never saw that coming! I still pinch myself.
MN: Is this your first brand endorsement?
SL: I’ve been lucky to have the support of many brands throughout my career. The major endorsement I had before CAT was with VEET, after I released the video for ‘T-Shirt’ in 2009. They loved my legs and we did a campaign that was featured in a lot of major magazines. Read More Here.
Barbadian singer Shontelle is getting accustomed to spending time in the Middle East. On this particular May afternoon, she’s in a hotel room in Dubai preparing to headline the Dance2LAX show, featuring several big-name choreographers. By happy coincidence, it means she should also get to catch her appearance on MBC’s Coke Studio, which airs the same day. “The most fun I’ve had in music,” she says, of the show.
Shontelle performs with Tunisian singer Saber Rebaï, and is backed by a number of musicians including the Egyptian band Cairokee, who made a name for themselves last year with a number of songs in support of the Egyptian revolution. “Their story – of bringing young people together – was a real inspiration,” she says.
Prior to her appearance, Shontelle was unsure what exactly to expect. “I’d had some documentation explaining what the idea was – to fuse Eastern and Western music,” she says. “And that really appealed to me. But I’d never met Michel [Elefteriades, music producer and host of Coke Studio] or Saber. And I was wondering how it would work out.” The language barrier was a concern, she says, “but once we got into the studio, that just didn’t matter. Music’s such a universal language.”
It helped that she was already familiar with Arabic music from her childhood in Barbados. “People don’t realize that there are so many people [of Arabic origin] over there,” she says. “But growing up I had friends from Lebanon, Syria, all over, so I was familiar with the Eastern sounds. And, being a percussionist [she took the chance to sit in on drums and jam with Cairokee during the screening], I just love the rhythms.”
The musicians worked on a classic Arabic track, “Tilaat Ya Mahle Noorha,” with Shontelle incorporating the Motown classic “Sunny,” previously sung by Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, among others (which was, she admits, “intimidating”). The track came together when Elefteriades threw some salsa stylings into the final mix.Read the full interview here.
Shontelle dropped by Virgin Radio 104.4 during her recent stay in Dubia. Wednesday, May 23, 2012.