High heels put student in the driving seat 

23/10/2008 00:00 

A recent product design graduate from the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC) is hot on the heels of success after designing a new high heeled shoe aimed at making lives easier for women drivers.

Natalie Daghestani, aged 21, originally from Dubai but now living in Cardiff has designed the ‘Hylo Female Commuter Shoe’, which is a height adjustable shoe for women who commute and work every day in high heels.

The innovative design uses a shape memory heel to transform high heels to a flat at the touch of a button, all powered by the energy harvested from body movement.

Natalie’s designs are also gaining national acclaim having recently made it to the final of the prestigious Fiat Smiles per Hour Competition, which offered a £50,000 first prize and was short-listed to take part in a new reality TV show centred on the Phillipe Starck School of Design in Paris.

Speaking on her success so far, Natalie said: “Both were huge personal achievements as I felt the hard work that I had carried out at my time at UWIC was now being recognized by professionals. I gave interviews and exchanged details with contacts of the design world which I would never have had the opportunity to do so had I not have entered such competitions.

As they say, you have to be in it to win it and although I did not go home with the prize, the experience and networking was invaluable both personally and professionally."

Spurred on by her success, Natalie is now in the process of launching her own bespoke design business ‘Crystyled’ based in Cardiff, an online website which customises products using genuine Swarovski crystals as a medium of self-expression.   

For further information contact Laura Anderson, Communications Assistant:
Tel: 029 2041 6041
Email: landerson@uwic.ac.uk