- Written by Tara Rose Lily
Who is SCHEÉ? Caitlyn Hess, a Pittsburgh native, is the designer, founder, and CEO of SCHEÉ shoes, a luxury footwear company that recently launched. As a designer, Hess has merged her passion for helping others with her love of designing footwear to create SCHEÉ. Hess’ ultimate goal for SCHEÉ is to use her luxury footwear designs is to raise awareness and support for various philanthropic causes. To support each philanthropic cause, SCHEÉ donates five percent of total sales to its corresponding charity.
Hess’ intention for SCHEÉ is to collaborate her designs with a new philanthropic cause each season and for her clientele to “Walk To Make a Difference.” Each time a woman purchases a pair of shoes, she is supporting SCHEÉ’s chosen philanthropic cause of the season. “My favorite part about being a designer is being able to help philanthropic causes and support those in need with my designs,” Hess explains. “When women purchase shoes from SCHEÉ, they are walking to make a difference, I want my designs to make life-changing statements.” This season, SCHEÉ has worked closely with Bright Pink, a national non-profit organization dedicated to breast cancer prevention.
Growing up in Pittsburgh, Hess always had a passion for helping others. While attending high school, Hess volunteered numerous hours of community service in nursing homes and hospitals, including The Highmark Caring Place, and has aided in supporting awareness for breast cancer, Autism, Down Syndrome and Alzheimer’s. Hess was awarded the Joan of Arc Medal to merit her outstanding community service and passion for supporting numerous philanthropic causes. Upon graduating high school, Hess attended Pennsylvania State University, where she majored in Human Health Development and became involved in numerous charities on and off campus.
Hess was also heavily involved in her dream of becoming a designer, specifically with shoes. “Designing was always a form of self-expression for me,” Hess says.
Intrigued by the work of shoe designers, Nicholas Kirkwood and Giuseppe Zanotti, Hess longed to expand her shoe designs into a luxury footwear brand. After discussing her designs with Ellen Goldstein-Lynch, Chairperson of the Accessories Design Department at FIT, Hess was inspired to combine her love for design with her passion for helping others. This past August, Hess showcased her collection for the Fashion Footwear Association of New York (FFANY), and her idea of “Walking To Make A Difference” was well-received. In late October, Hess held a launch party for SCHEÉ and received positive feedback for both her designs and collaboration with philanthropic causes.
“I create my designs to match the philanthropic cause SCHEÉ is supporting for the season,” Hess says. “To support breast cancer this season, I added a feminine touch with pastel colors and embellished heels.”
Hess is currently planning for her upcoming Fall/Winter collection and deciding the next philanthropic cause she would like SCHEÉ to support. In the future, she would love to create a fashion show to create support for numerous philanthropic causes.
“I want SCHEÉ to help make the fashion industry an even better place—to make a difference and help others,” says Hess. “That’s what is most important in my life.”
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