Get to know Lili Thomas – the woman behind new local shoe brand, Luminous Assembly.
How did Luminous Assembly begin?
The idea came to me about over a year ago. One night at a party I was wearing some well-known Australian brand high heels, which were beautiful, but were soooo uncomfortable. I thought that surely there could be comfy high heels out there! I then started researching and found a couple of brands that specialise in comfortable heels, but all of them were lower heels, flats or sneakers. I also realised that the majority of heels in retail stores were all black or nude. Fed up, one lunch time I went and bought a notebook and some colour pencils and started drawing heels designs, focusing on comfy mid and high heels and colourful shoes. I launched the business in late 2019.
Where has your love for and knowledge of shoes come from?
I have always loved heels, specifically high heels. If I am going to work, to a meeting, to a fancy event, to a wedding, or just going out, I always wear heels. I believe no matter what you wear, a pair of heels can make you feel beautiful and make you feel like you can take on the world. I just love how a pair of heels can make you feel that way. Don’t get me wrong, I love wearing thongs or sneakers on the weekend when I am running around with the kids, but any other moment where I want to feel empowered and gorgeous I wear high heels. They make you walk tall and feel confident.
When the idea to create comfortable heels came to me, I just started researching shoe styles, shoe materials, shoe making processes, etc. I had plenty of heels at home and started to look at them closely and how I could improve on them.
What is your background career-wise?
My background is in marketing. I have worked in companies like Foxtel and Telstra. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and a Masters in Business Administration from Durham University.
What is the intention behind the designs?
The intention was always to create a comfortable heel. My first two designs are a high heel pump and a mid heel strappy sandal. Both of them have a thicker than normal stiletto to still give that beautiful silhouette that a stiletto gives you, but to also give you better balance when walking. Both of them also have ankle straps to give extra support when walking. Whilst different designs, they are both made of beautiful soft leather.
I created them in gorgeous vibrant colours to do something different to what is currently in the market. I want these heels to make you feel amazing. You walk in with a pair of high heel pumps in yellow and you will turn heads. Sounds cliche, but honestly the whole ‘give a woman the right pair of shoes and she can conquer the world’ is so true. For me, the right pair of shoes are a pair of heels. I feel I can go and conquer the world in them. I feel powerful and gorgeous. I want others to feel that way. Putting heels on makes you feel dressed up, beautiful and happy. I love that you can ‘dress up’ with heels in a simple pair of jeans and a white shirt, or rock them out with a gorgeous cocktail dress.
What’s behind the name?
The name took me ages to come up with! The word ‘Luminous’ means giving off light, bright or shining . I wanted to spark happiness and brighten up women’s day with our shoes and how I wanted our shoes to make them feel. It also relates to part of the mission of the company which is to give back to women in need, so I wanted to also bring some light to the lives of women or girls in disadvantaged situations. For every pair of shoes sold, part of the profits go towards a charitable organisation that support women and/or young girls.
The word ‘Assembly’ came as I wanted to create a community of ass-kicking awesome women. I wanted to create not just a brand, but a community of women that want to feel amazing with our shoes, want to give back, support other women, empower other women, go-getters.
What does the future look like for Luminous Assembly? What are you planning for the brand?
I have big dreams and hopes for the company! My big vision is to make Luminous Assembly a world recognised fashion brand with a social conscious. ‘Doing good’ is a core part of what we do. From Adelaide to the world! But, baby steps first! We are a small start-up based in Adelaide, so my first step is to continue to build brand awareness in Adelaide and Australia and start building that community of awesome women wearing Luminous Assembly shoes. I am currently working on the Autumn-Winter collection. Looking to continue to create comfy heels to make our customers feel amazing and gorgeous.
Where can we try them on and buy them?
Shoes are sold online at luminousassembly.com.au. I offer free shipping, easy returns and Afterpay is available.
My shoes are also stocked in Adelaide boutique stores at Naked by the Sea in Glenelg and Nida Ve Ben in Henley Beach.