We Discover the Story Behind Zaccys with its Founder, Meg Cope

We Discover the Story Behind Zaccys with its Founder, Meg Cope

Luxurious Magazine meets with Meg Cope, Founder & Creative Director of Zaccys London

Meg is a former Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon with over twenty years of experience in medicine working for the NHS, having first trained at University College London.

Meg Cope in her studio
Meg Cope

In 2012, Meg’s youngest child, Zac, was diagnosed with Leukaemia, and Meg took a career break to look after him. Zac successfully finished his treatment in 2015, and Meg then made the decision to leave medicine and start a new career.

With a lifelong interest in design and fashion, Meg had been trying to find a replacement for a much-loved pair of espadrilles without success. She, therefore, decided to design and make her own range of luxury wedge espadrilles, which are handmade in Spain.

Her desire was to create shoes for busy women like herself that were both beautiful and comfortable but also flattering. The brand USP is comfort and versatility, it is Meg’s meticulous attention to detail that ensures Zaccys is truly in a class of their own.

She founded her new venture company in late 2015 and named it Zaccys after her son. Zaccys London launched its debut collection in May 2016. Zaccys are entirely handmade in Spain by the same artisanal factory that makes items for Valentino, McQueen, Louboutin and other luxury super brands.

LM: Tell us about Zaccys – The Name, when and where was Zaccys Launched?
MC: I really struggled to find a replacement for an ancient and much-loved pair of low wedge espadrilles and, after several years of searching, came to the conclusion I would need to have some made. I started drawing some basic designs that ultimately turned into a whole collection.

At the same time, I was on an enforced career break – looking after my youngest child, Zac, who had been diagnosed with leukaemia. The drawings were my escape from some of the difficulties we were facing as a family. They were a wonderful creative outlet for me, much of which I could share with Zac whilst he was unwell.

We launched the brand online in May 2016 in London, 8 months after he finished his treatment.

LM: What is your background?
MC: My father’s cousin lived with us whilst she was studying fashion at Central St Martins. I was only five years old at the time, but I thought her sketches were the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, and they left a lasting impression on me.

I chose, however, to follow another great passion of mine – medicine – inspired by my father and my grandfather. It was an incredible privilege to be a doctor, to have that uniquely close relationship with patients and to develop skills that could make such a difference in people’s lives.

I was a doctor for more than 20 years and a Specialist Consultant Eye Surgeon for 10 of those.

My life changed direction completely with my son’s illness, and instead of returning to my previous career, I chose to follow my creative instincts again in setting up my own niche luxury shoe business. Having spent more time at home with my children during Zac’s treatment I wanted to find a job that allowed me more flexibility and a better work-life balance.

I also wanted to give back to the children’s cancer charities that I supported. Launching a business requires an enormous amount of time and effort, but I was able to fit this better around my children’s needs than my previous job.

We Discover the Story Behind Zaccys with its Founder, Meg Cope 1
All the shoes are carefully hand-wrapped with single jute braids that have been custom-made just for Zaccys. These have been waxed or polyester coated to make them shower-proof. The toe detail is entirely hand-stitched and coated in the same way.

LM: What was the inspiration behind the brand?
MC: Espadrilles conjure warm, sunny Mediterranean memories for me and are the ultimate in summer chic.

I wanted to create a luxury version of the classic rustic shoe with specific elements that elevated the quality, comfort and aesthetics.

The brand is dedicated to my three children, Zaccy in particular, as they are the ultimate sunshine in my life.

What is unique about Zaccys?
Zaccys is focused on comfort, versatility and timeless luxury. Zaccys are specifically designed to be flattering and leg-lengthening.

The unique, deeply-cushioned, combination memory foam insoles provide day-to-night comfort.

Every Zaccys is constructed entirely by hand; this involves at least 15 different processes. The Zaccys wedge and platform are constructed from lightweight cork, and each braid is applied by hand. This means the shoes are all shower-proof and extremely light, and the cork provides shock absorption, adding to the comfort.

All Zaccys wedges are leather lined with the finest leathers from Italy and Spain.

The wedges also feature an anti-slip outsole made from a special material with a high abrasive coefficient, meaning it will wear well over time.

Zaccys classic rustic shoe with ankle strap
The unique combination of Zaccys signature insole = a firm, breathable support + a deep high-density memory foam layer (6mm deep cushion in total). Providing day/night-long comfort & support, normally only found in specialist trainers or orthotic shoes.

Classic rustic wedge espadrilles made from solidly stacked jute are heavy and require ankle strapping in order to hold them onto the foot. Unfortunately, ankle straps foreshorten the leg and detract from the leg-lengthening benefit you achieve with a heel.

We donate £5 for every pair sold to two children’s cancer charities that we support in the UK – the additional ‘feel good’ factor. We also cater for women with both small and large feet, offering a size range from EU35-43.

Zaccys Cristina Gold
Zaccys will keep you secure even on slippery or wet surfaces; the outsole material is chosen for durability & adds to the exceptional comfort.

LM: Who inspires you when designing the upcoming collection?
MC: I take inspiration from so many different sources, but my customers are a huge part of the process.

The collections are built around versatile nude and metallic shades that go with everything: shoes for busy women who need effortless footwear choices. We had so many requests for an all-black mid-height wedge last summer; it’s in the new SS18 collection launching soon.

Art, architecture, nature and travel all influence my ideas, and I am also very interested in sustainable materials, which is why we use jute and cork. I am designing an amazing fish-skin, skinny high heel at the moment, which is also going to be super comfortable.

Zaccys Cristina high heel wedges
Cristina high heel wedges

LM: What is your favourite Zaccys shoe?
MC: Choosing a favourite is very difficult because I love all of them!

I am very proud of the Cristina high-heel wedges, as they are truly comfortable high heels that have converted even the most die-hard flats wearers.

Now that we live in Athens, I live in the Margaritas (the shoe that started it all) for most of the year – I can even walk our dog in them! I also love the pop of orange hand embroidery on baby-soft nude suede on the ‘Sunset’ models.

The mid-height, taupe linen Ana Crochet is my go-to if I need to pack light for a holiday, you only need them and a pair of flip flops for easy day to night holiday chic.

We Discover the Story Behind Zaccys with its Founder, Meg Cope 2
“The extra ‘feel good’ factor in the Zaccys London brand. ‘Purchase with Purpose’ – for every pair sold, a donation is made.”

The winter collection saved my feet during these cold months – the hidden internal cork mini wedge and the bouncy platform soles give just the right combination of lift and support, and both styles – Carolina and Elisabeta are super versatile.

LM: Will you be adding accessories to match the show collections? ie Bags?
MC: At the moment, I am very focused on shoes; they are a really complex item to make and get right. Everyone’s feet are different, so I have plenty of scope to extend our current offering.

I would like to develop the use of sustainable materials in our production – cork, jute and fish skins, combining them with technical materials that offer superior comfort, support and responsible manufacturing.

LM: Where is Zaccys available to buy?
MC: Zaccys are available online at www.zaccys.com, where we have all the collections and offer our customers a really personal service along with free shipping and returns throughout Europe. We are also stocked in several retailers, the details of which can be found on our website stockist page.

LM: What is your motto in life?
MC: Growing up my father always encouraged us to be fearless and never to give up. Falling seven times and standing up eight is something I now tell my children. I also think manners, kindness and helping others make the world a happier and more successful place.

Mentoring, apprenticeship, teaching and collaboration are all key parts of medical training; I think applying these sorts of synergies to business can be very rewarding for both small and large companies.

We Discover the Story Behind Zaccys with its Founder, Meg Cope 3
Zaccys are all showerproof & will not spoil if they become damp.

LM: Where do you see the brand in five years?
MC: In the future, I see Zaccys as the go-to brand for comfortable artisanal shoes for any occasion, for men and women, that represent real value for money. I hope that through growing a successful business, we can support the children’s cancer charities we partner with in a meaningful way.

Zaccys London – Where and how?

To view the full selection of Zaccys London shoes and place your order please visit www.zaccys.com; enquiries to email [email protected] or call +44 (0) 800 772 0300.

We Discover the Story Behind Zaccys with its Founder, Meg Cope 4
Zaccys all feature light-weight & shock-absorbing natural cork wedges. Designed for maximum comfort (most brands use plastic wedges, as they are cheaper & easier to work with/brand).

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