The Burj Heel’s (Impossible) Journey:

While living in the Middle East, Allure Mansur founder Rula Mansur has always been amazed at the evolution of the region’s skylines from sands to skyscrapers.  Inspiration drawn from the buildings’ architecture, coupled with her love of sky-high heels, drove her to design a unique, gold heel symbolizing the region’s transformation and prosperity.  She named that heel “Burj”, meaning “Tower”.
The Burj Heel, which debuted on International Women’s Day 2019 is semi-customizable. Precious and semi-precious gemstones are interchangeable to allow you to make the unique statement you desire.
When Rula first envisioned the heel, she patented the design and began an unusual journey to produce it.
First, she wanted to ensure she supports local artisans, sources ethical materials, and creates a high-quality, luxury product. She traveled to Italy with a dream – to have her patented sketches and luxury designs handmade by the finest Italian artisans.  Little did she know “That’s not how it works. You cannot just show up at a shoe factory and expect to build a brand,” she was told by a factory owner (Giovanni) who didn’t recognize her through the security cameras at an [undisclosed] highly secure location and turned her away via intercom. She pleaded with Giovanni, telling him she flew all the way to Italy from America to create the heel, and asked him for just five minutes of his time. Feeling sorry for her, he let her in!
Rula found herself surrounded by designer heel samples. (Out of respect to Giovanni and him entrusting her with what is considered a trade secret, she is not allowed to disclose the famous luxury brand that enveloped the factory meeting room where she sat with him. Suffice it to say, it was in her dream meeting room). Giovanni explained the heel-manufacturing process in Italy required to conduct business with the factories. She pushed her limits with Giovanni, whom she did not know was a very important man in the footwear industry, and humbly asked for his help to break into the industry. Knowing that most factories wouldn’t take on small projects and startups, he paused and looked at her naïve and desperate eyes, smirked, and pulled out his cell to make a phone call! If it weren’t for him, she would not have been able to secure manufacturer meetings.
Her trip and new insight into the footwear industry in Italy eventually led her to securing a manufacturer that would take on a unique design and production that meets her ethical sourcing requirements. She is forever grateful to Giovanni for his kindness and uses her fortunate encounter with him as an example of unlikely compassion in a very competitive industry.
She began work with her high heel manufacturer. “We created mood boards, 3D images, molds from scratch, and iron out so many details I never thought of. Then we had to ensure the heel could hold a gemstone securely,” she explained.  With that underway, Rula partnered with other women-owned startups to source ethical gemstones cut to her exact measurements and radiance specifications. Meanwhile in the United States, a custom magnet manufacturer worked to ensure Rula’s gemstones could be secured into the heel with the strongest and most durable magnets.
The “Burj Heel” Shows Off Its Gorgeous Gold Bottoms And A View Of The Interchangeable Gemstone Secured By Magnet. (GEMSTONE PICTURED: EMERALD)
“To me, fashion is a remarkable expression of who we are. There were so many moving pieces to creating the Burj Heel and it is truly a global endeavor that has forged new friendships, opportunities and teamwork. So many people told me creating my dream design was impossible; however, every time I looked out my window and saw the skyline, I knew the day would come in which I could hold the Burj Heels in my hands. I’ve put my heart and soul into the making of this symbolic work of art. A great deal of thought is put into ensuring our suppliers, partners, and customers share our brand ethos: To embrace our values, empower one another, and engineer a brighter future,” she remarked.
As for her plans to drive in her birthplace Saudi Arabia, Rula exclaimed, “Absolutely! When you let women behind the wheel, they will show you just how far they can go!”
Sounds like Rula is doing just what her brand sets out to do: Embrace. Empower. Engineer.