Footwear designer Shanterra Lane is ready for the fashion world to see what she’s been cooking up for years now. Back in 2016, Shanterra made the bold move to NY in pursuit of her dreams in footwear design. Of course, her journey was not an easy one as she was met with many setbacks and obstacles, but her passion and determination as a designer proved to be a lot stronger. Fast forward to today, Lane is gearing up to launch her footwear brand, RIZR, at New York’s notable Harlem Fashion Week with a launch of the brand’s very first shoe following the runway show.
We sat down with the Fayetteville-bred RIZR founder to discuss her journey as a footwear designer, the design process and inspiration behind her first shoe known as the RIZR Camo FNX-1, the launch of her brand at Harlem Fashion Week, and more.
Have you always had an interest in fashion/design?
Actually yes. From a very long time, I was interested in fashion design. My favorite show when I was in middle school was Project Runway. I actually wanted to go to FIDM in LA. So, I started a fashion club at my high school because one of the opportunities was to start a fashion club at that school as a way to get a scholarship. I actually did get end up getting the scholarship after creating that club at my school, but I couldn’t afford the room and board in LA for a private school. So, I didn’t end up going. However, it still planted a seed in me to start my own fashion line. I literally planned the club out for two years, kind of like how I’ve been planning RIZR. It was like the first step for that.
How long have you been designing footwear?
That started around October of 2016, that’s when I took my first class. Of course, it took a year of research because back in 2015-2016, shoemaking wasn’t as big. People weren’t really talking about making shoes back then. So, when I was telling people that I wanted to make shoes, no one could really tell me where to go. I ended up finding Brooklyn Shoe Space after doing more research. When I found them, they were just about to celebrate their anniversary. So when I was searching for sources, they probably weren’t even around at the time.
I started saving up and doing overtime to take that class because I didn’t have a lot behind me. I tried to do a GoFund me and that didn’t work out. I had a car I had just bought and I sold it. I used all of the money from my car to take the course. That’s what made me want to actually move to NY on top of wanting to go to FIT.
Honestly, that’s one of the things I forget about because I didn’t end up going to FIT at all. I ended up going in a completely different direction. I actually ended up moving to NY and secured a job, and my goal was to use what I made to pay for the course. My next goal was to figure out how to make shoes and grow from there.
Can you recall the first ever shoe that you designed? What did it look like?
There are only three shoes I’ve handmade myself. I only have two left because the first one got lost in the move. They were like a sneaker-boot hybrid. It was a loose top shoe. When you tied the laces, it would bunch it up. I also used a roshe sole for that shoe. For the pattern, it was like a cork board type of pattern, sort of distressed. The laces were grey with rose gold tips from Aglit Italy, a luxury shoe accessory brand.
I had all these ideas on stuff I wanted to do, but that was my intro into seeing how I can experiment with colors and materials.
Where did the name “RIZR” come from? What’s the meaning behind it?
It is pronounced like “ry-zer”, but I took the “e” out because I liked the four-letter look. It actually comes from a nickname I’ve had since I was 13. It kind of had a negative connotation at first because I was rebellious, so “terrorizer” (terra-rizr) was the name I gave myself. Now, I resonate with it because I see it as a comeback story, rising from a fall and becoming new after recreating yourself.
When I did this collection, that was me rising from a dark place. From 2018-2019, I really wans’t doing anything footwear related. I was barely getting on social media like I was in a dark place and I wore dark colors. I really couldn’t back to myself. So, I feel like this collection helped me to do that. It is very colorful.
Tell me about the inspiration behind the RIZR Camo FNX-1.
Fayetteville, where I’m from, is like a big military town. My mom, dad, stepdad, and grandad were all in the military. So, I’ve always been around camouflage, it’s always been my favorite print. It also derives from the fact that I always wanted to make a camouflage sock sneaker ever since I saw the camo print at Elegant Fabrics. When I first moved to New York in November 2016, I went to Elegant Fabrics, saw that fabric, and immediately pictured that sock sneaker in my head. I’m like, “Why hasn’t anyone done a camouflage sock sneaker yet?” During that time, that’s when sock sneakers were hot. Right at the moment, I was like I need to do this.
I took me three years to actually create it because I hadn’t taken classes in awhile. After I took the Shoe Surgeon class in 2018, I ended up making the prototype of the camouflage sock sneaker and wore it for my birthday. That was me actually wanting to see that sneaker happen.
Are the shoes unisex?
Anyone can wear them as long as we have the size. Right now, I’m working on expanding sizes. As far sizing for the Camo FNX-1, it’ll range from a women’s 8.5 to 12, or 7-10 in men’s. In the next drops, we’re going to try to expand the sizes more. Like right now, I don’t even carry my size and it’s my shoe!
Can you walk us through the design process of the RIZR Camo FNX-1?
I saw the evolution of my idea happen. It’s just a camo sneaker with a regular plain sole. I have neon green accents on it which happens to be my favorite color. I also have 3mm along the outsole. I feel like it is very simple, but a statement piece at the same time. I really love statement pieces, I like things that are not too much but enough to make a statement.
As far the design process, the camo shoe set the tone for how I designed the rest of the collection. The collection consists of 10 shoes that will show during Harlem Fashion Week next month. However, I’m launching this shoe the day after Harlem Fashion Week.
That brings me to my next question. We saw that you’ll be showing at Harlem Fashion Week, congratulations on that! You’ll be presenting 10 sneakers including the Camo FNX-1 as well as introducing the world to your RIZR footwear brand. This must be super exciting for you. How does it feel?
It is very exciting and it’s a lot because I didn’t design with all that planned already. I was just designing to just get back into it. Harlem Fashion Week was something that was important to me for a long time. I’ve been to a lot of their events and workshops. I’ve applied to them three times and got in every time, but I was never ready and always had to embarrassingly drop out. This time, I actually had the collection made before they announced they were looking for designers. I asked myself, “Should I apply? What if they turn me down because I’ve applied already?” So, I’m really grateful that they accepted me and recognized I was trying.
I postponed my launch, so I could do Harlem Fashion Week. I didn’t have a launch party planned, so this serves as a built-in launch party for me.
We also peeped you had rain sneakers in the works for 2022 that will show at Harlem Fashion Week and we were in love with them. Can we expect the other sneakers to release in 2022 as well or perhaps by the end of this year?
Camo is going to be the first to release this year. It depends on how fast we can get the next production started and get a system going. But if anything changes, I will send out updates through the email list, which you can sign up for on rizrfootwear.com. We’re still just trying to figure out the best system for drops.
What do you hope people take away when they cop/wear your brand’s shoes?
Continue to rise and be transparent. There is a lot possible if you believe in yourself and keep going. I know it sounds cliché and everyone says it all the time, but that’s what I’ve done and I was able to give it one more try after two years. You never know who’s watching. You never know what will happen if you keep going.
If you have a vision, goal, or something that you can’t stop thinking about, go for it and see what happens. What’s meant for you is meant for you.
You can catch Shanterra Lane and her RIZR brand at Harlem Fashion Week on Sunday, September 5th during the Emerging Designers Show. The RIZR CAmo FNX-1 is scheduled to drop on Monday, September 6th. Stay updated by following RIZR on Instagram!