Gieler shows shoes at London Fashion Week

Wolfgang Gieler, 29, has always had a passion for shoes. He was once a basketball player, but with his size-49 feet it was not easy for him to find the right shoes.

But that didn't stop him from collecting more than 200 pairs.

And he was also credited for his taste whenever he bought ladies' shoes for family and friends.

"Whenever I bought something for my sisters or girl friends, they loved it and even their friends loved it," says Gieler, who is now based in Beijing.

So, after he retired from playing professional basketball in the United States, France and Germany because of a knee injury, it was natural for him to look to do something with shoes.

He moved to China in January 2014 to work with Mercedes-Benz in its purchasing section and started designing women's shoes under his own name later that year.

He later expanded his range to ballerinas and sneakers.

The shoes, which are available from his website, Wolfganggieler.com, and the online-shopping platform Shangpin.com, cost between 1,100-1,400 yuan ($170-216).

Recently, his shoes were shown at London Fashion Week as part of the House of iKons fashion show.

House of iKons is a London-based platform that supports young emerging fashion and shoe designers from around the world.

Gieler was introduced to House of iKons' CEO, Savita Kaye, by a mutual friend.

Then, weeks after the London show, Gieler, along with House of iKons, brought the designers, who appeared under the House of iKons label at London Fashion Week, to Beijing's Four Seasons Hotel in late March to promote their work in China.

The Beijing exhibition showcased shoes by Gieler and works by six women's fashion designers from different countries.

The designers included Yen from United Arab Emirates, London-based duo Albert Martincich and Kany Dao, British designer Emilia Walls and Morocco-born designer H EI Bou.

Kaye discovered Gieler's shoes when she was preparing for the fashion week show in London.

Then, Kaye, who was finding her Jimmy Choo heels uncomfortable, tried Gieler's shoes, which were sent over for the show, and she was hooked.

It opened up a new world for her.

"They are so amazing and comfortable. I can moonwalk in them," she says.

With House of iKons, Kaye says she seeks brands which can offer something unique.

"I don't want them (the designers) to feel that they have to emulate a trend. I want them to turn into trendsetters. The fashion industry is dominated by big brands. We want to find the next generation of designers."

Kaye says the brands she picks get a global platform when they show at London Fashion Week.

Some of them are picked up by world-famous department stores like Macy's and some are worn by celebrities like Katy Perry and Paris Hilton.

Meanwhile, Kaye is also looking for new talent in China.

"London is like a springboard for designers from around the world ... My mission is to help them establish and become profitable businesses."

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