Designer Jorge Bischoff was born and raised in Brazil, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, a region with a rich shoe-manufacturing tradition that dates back hundreds of years. When Bischoff was a young child, his mother worked from home sewing shoes while she looked after him.
When he was a little older, he would visit the shoe factory where his father worked, an experience he deems “magical,” as he fondly recalls playing with pieces of leather and the aroma of the wood used to create the molds for heels. At only 11 years old, Bischoff began working as a manual leather cutter in a factory. It’s plain to see that Bischoff was destined to become a force in the world of shoes.
A 16-year-old Bischoff would attempt to test fate, though, and too appease his mother, enrolled in a vocational accounting course, but even this would steer him in the direction of shoe design. “One of my teachers said he was going to fail me because I was not cut out for accounting, but mostly because, if he didn’t, Brazil would lose a great designer,” he said. “He watched me spend most of my time in class designing shoes.”
In 2003, the Jorge Bischoff brand launched in Brazil; in 2008, the firm launched a franchising program that took their products throughout his native country. In 2016, Jorge Bischoff was recognized as Brazil’s best footwear franchise by Pequenas Empresas e Grandes Negócios, a leading business magazine in Brazil. Today, Bischoff is the CEO of Bischoff Group and remains an integral part of every production step within the successful company.
In 2017 he debuted his flagship boutique in Miami’s Brickell City Centre, a flourishing shopping and dining destination in the heart of the Magic City. This endeavor, which is crucial for the firm, aims to expand the brand on an international level.
Stylistically, Bischoff’s designs represent a bold and effortlessly stylish woman, one who never shies away from color and embraces new takes on classic pieces. The designer has a knack for mixing colors and sumptuous materials (like python and other snake skins), with metallic accents and other sparkling components. Besides staying true to his style identity and ensuring immaculate Brazilian craftsmanship, the designer considers functionality an important part of his brand. “I regard comfort and beauty as essential components of my products. One cannot exist without the other and that is the challenge of a designer: to create forms as seductive as they are functional.”
As Bischoff continues his ascension in the world of shoes, the designer maintains that he’s actually selling something else: “Women do not buy shoes. They buy emotion! They aim to highlight their sensuality, self-esteem and power and they find that in our brand.” ■