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Behind the Design of the VOTE Collection

The VOTE collection has landed, and these new, hand-painted leather flats send an important message about the power of all women's voices and our ability to be the change we want to see. In collaboration with creative studio, Leftys Right Mind, this limited-edition capsule collection is meant to raise awareness and encourage all women to register to vote.

Each of the five designs features symbols representing women’s journey toward voting and the universal theme that all voices deserve to be heard. Danielle Stern, founder of Leftys Right Mind, and her team have worked tirelessly with Birdies to hand-paint this incredible collection. Meet the artists behind these 5 unique styles and hear how they brought each meaningful design to life.

artist sketching design

Name: Danielle

Designs You Painted: Words of Strength and Empowered 

Number of Pairs You’ve Painted So Far: Oh gosh, somewhere close to 300 at this point, with many more hopefully to come!

Meaning Behind the Designs:

Words of Strength is inspired by the design simplicity of suffragist posters, election signage, and other feminist messages that have become popular symbols of women’s freedom and equality. They represent the powerful role that words and voices play in the fight for women’s right to be heard. 

Empowered embodies what the right to vote means for each of us as individuals and also speaks to having the strength to effect change. The soft, scripted font reinforces that we can be both feminine and strong at the same time. 

What do these designs mean to you personally? 

This collaboration with Birdies empowers me to continually work hard and inspire my team.  With an overarching message about motivating females to be strong and speak up, our artwork serves as an everyday reminder for me in both my personal and professional life.

Tell us about the assortment of styles. 

Our collection is an aesthetic mix of bold graphic design and realism.  Our 5 unique pieces of artwork provide a style for each personality.

Which shoe is your favorite and how would you wear it? 

A hard question since I take a lot of pride in each one developed, but I think I'd have to say Words of Strength. As a creative, I tend to overcomplicate aesthetic details, but my personal style is the classic idea that less is more. What I find beautiful about the Words of Strength style is the inspiration behind the minimal, clean lines of a 1920s suffrage poster, allowing no other design distractions. The artwork allows for the bold words to shine and stand on their own. Of course, I love the stars and yellow rose as well, because not only are they gorgeous to look at, but each holds a bold underlying message relating back to the female voice. My shoes are always my statement piece, so I'd be rocking our entire VOTE Collection with a pair of denim and white tee!

yellow rose shoe and stars shoe

Name: Ashley

Designs You Painted: Yellow Rose and Voting Stars 

Number of Pairs You’ve Painted So Far: More than 100 pairs—it has been an amazing project! 

Meaning Behind the Designs:

Yellow Rose symbolizes the grit and determination of suffragists fighting for women’s right to vote. In August 1920, suffragists and anti-suffragists lobbied in Nashville over whether to ratify the 19th Amendment. Both sides wore rose-shaped pins to indicate which side they were on: suffragists wore yellow roses, and anti-suffragists wore red roses. Today, some members of Congress are wearing yellow roses to mark 100 years since women were federally granted the right to vote.

These purple, white, and yellow stars in Voting Stars are a nod to the women’s suffrage movement. Purple represented loyalty, white represented purity, and yellow represented light & life.

What do these designs mean to you personally?  

The yellow rose is a beautifully delicate design, but it holds so much strength in its meaning. It is a reminder of how far we have come and how far I know we will continue to go as women.  

Describe your process for hand-painting Yellow Rose. 

This design process for the rose is very organic, relying heavily on the brushstroke to create the petals of each rose. There is a beauty in how different each rose can be painted. 

Which shoe is your favorite and how would you wear it?   

If I had to choose, it would be Words of Strength. I love this design because it speaks volumes about what it means to be a woman and using our voices. I could wear this shoe all year long—it is so versatile! I would probably wear it with my favorite pair of jeans and a simple top, because I would want the shoes to be the statement piece.

production line of vote shoes

Name: Deidra

Designs You Painted: Every Vote Matters 

Number of Pairs You’ve Painted So Far: 132 pairs and counting!

Meaning Behind the Design:

Combining the contemporary design of Leftys Right Mind with the reminder for all women to register to vote, Every Vote Matters is the bold rallying cry for making sure our individual voices are heard. 

What does this design mean to you personally?  

For me, the importance of this design is to recognize the women in the past who fought tirelessly for the right to vote, not only themselves, but for all future generations. Personally, I think this style celebrates those trailblazing women who have opened up the opportunity for us to voice our opinions, and it impels us to do so loud and proud!

Describe your process for hand-painting Every Vote Matters. 

For the style I’m painting, it’s all about the layers. It takes a few coats to make those beautiful bright colors really pop on the black leather. Patience is key.

Which shoe is your favorite and how would you wear it?   

It’s definitely tough to choose just one, but I can totally see myself wearing Yellow Rose with a comfy pair of mom jeans and a cotton tee while conquering my daily to-dos!

empowered and words of strength shoes

Name: Bobby

Pairs You’ve Worked On: I’ve been helping with touch-ups and packing up all the finished shoes!

How does this collection speak to you?  

The idea of one person, one vote has been in existence for a while, but especially this year. Bolstered by the MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements, this message is essential. Women are embracing their empowerment, rights, and voices. 

What does it mean to you personally? 

Having lived through the women’s liberation movement, I feel that we are reaching new changes. This collection is timely, stylish, and impactful, and getting out to vote is a message we should embrace. 

Which shoe is your favorite and how would you wear it?  

Empowered and Words of Strength are my favorites. I plan on wearing mine everywhere from the grocery store to socially distanced gatherings to having my morning tea on the deck. These shoes are statement pieces that are meaningful and impactful. 

Now that we’ve gone behind the design of our VOTE collection, we think you’ll agree that these hand-painted leather styles are more than just flats. They’re shoes with purpose. We hope that this collection will inspire you to use your voice and step up for what you believe in. Which style speaks to you?