Cheyenne Looi started Kate Mosella Custom Made Shoes to ensure every bride has a perfect big day


Amid the bustle of SS2, Petaling Jaya, Cheyenne Looi has opened the perfect complement to the bridal boutiques peppering the commercial hub. Kate Mosella Custom Made Shoes does as its name suggests, offering made-to-order shoes for weddings, formal dinners and daily corporate wear.


“I was three months away from my wedding five years ago and I still couldn’t find a pair of heels I liked,” reminisces Cheyenne. “My husband is 30cm taller than me so I was looking for shoes with a heel of four inches or above but few stores carried heels that high. I finally found a pair but it wasn’t in my preferred colour or design.”


Looi, then a writer with a Chinese magazine, was sure she couldn’t be the only one to face that dilemma, so she began talking to a shoemaker about customising shoes for women. They went into business together in 2013, operating an online store from a small office in Setia Alam, Shah Alam. Demand for a physical presence brought them to SS2 last year.

“We didn’t have a lot of capital so our premise from the start was custom-made shoes — we didn’t want to keep any stock,” says the cheerful founder. “I had no knowledge about design and learnt along the way. My partner taught me how shoes are made, how to match colour with design. Our first month, we only took in 10 orders. Last month, we hit above 80.”


Sales are still largely conducted online, though customers can also visit the boutique for a consultation. “We make shoes for sizes 1 through 12, and use genuine lambskin and sheepskin,” she continues. “Our Swarovski-studded and lace designs are very popular among brides. Customisation covers everything from colour and heel height to cut, design and ornamentation. Brides can personalise names, initials or wedding dates on the shoes, or we can even have those details inked onto the insoles with a stamping stone."


The sheer multitude of possibilities can be overwhelming, so Cheyenne often works closely with customers to conceptualise their ideal shoes. “In the case of bridal shoes, most brides show us a photo of their wedding gown and we develop a design from there. Tastes range from conservative (off-white, gold or silver shoes) to contemporary colours like bold purples, reds and greens. I like to suggest unusual designs in keeping with the one-of-a-kind shoes they are making,” she says. The most extraordinary request was from a bride who wanted to wear sneakers to her wedding. As Cheyenne Looi doesn’t design sneakers, the bride-to-be brought in her own pair of Converse shoes to be bedazzled. “We stitched on lace, pearls and Swarovski crystals,” laughs Cheyenne. “It was the first time we had encountered such a request and I was surprised by the creativity of the idea.”

A customised pair of shoes takes up to a month to complete, inclusive of a fitting and alterations if necessary. Cheyenne Looi also recently introduced a selection of ready-to-wear wedding shoes for last-minute shoppers as well as an array of wedding and evening gowns, priced from RM 1,200. Shoes, the primary focus, are priced between RM 450 and RM 2,000. “The premium price refers to high heels entirely covered in hand-applied Swarovski crystals — the workmanship is expensive, with each pair taking a week to complete,” she says.


Asked about the origins of the brand’s name, Cheyenne Looi laughs. “To make our name easily searchable in search engines, we decided to combine a common and a distinctive name. The name ‘Kate’ has millions of hits while ‘Mosella’ is more unusual. If you look up Kate Mosella in a search engine, we should be on the first page,” smiles the canny entrepreneur.


Cheyenne Looi is also drawing new focus on her ready-to-wear line with a counter to be opened at Metrojaya in Mid Valley Megamall by year-end. Minor customisations might be carried out there. The new territory is a lot of work but she is enjoying herself. 


“It’s a happy business,” she beams. “I love watching customers collect their shoes, especially the brides who are excited about their weddings and those who ordered personalised pairs. I love knowing I can fulfil their desires by realising something they could only imagine. I feel like I’m part of something special.”