British Council Creative Economy

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Elina Dobele

Elina Dobele

YCE Winner

In 2009 Elina established ZoFA, the first designer footwear label in the Baltic States.

Designing and producing luxury handmade shoes for men and women their first collection was presented in 2010 and this year sees the fourth, Spring/Summer 2012. In a short period of time ZoFA has gained significant publicity and established a strong customer base in local markets. With the help of winning two grant programmes in Latvia, ZoFA was able to open their own atelier and boutique in Riga in March 2011. They also sell through shops in Kapa, Russia, Germany and the UK.

Before establishing ZoFA Elina worked as an architect in her family’s company SIA ‘Arhitekts Druvis Dobelis’, where she carried out several private house projects, public building projects and interior projects.

She was however always passionate about shoes! Elina feels that her education and professional experience in architecture has been, and still is, the base of her inspiration for the structural quality of her footwear and her understanding of the business of design.