EXCLUSIVE: Maria Thattil talks diversity, self love and legacy

Maria Thattil is an author, columnist, advocate, actress, media personality and now a shoe connoisseur.
Maria thattil novo

2024 is all about traversing new terrain for Maria Thattil. As well as planning to make her highly-anticipated Neighbours debut, the former Miss Universe-turned-media personality is also stepping into another new realm – shoes

Maria Thattil has teamed up with the beloved Aussie shoe brand, Novo Shoes, to launch her debut collection of heels, boots and mules that reflects her own ethos of self-expression, boundary-breaking and unapologetic individuality.

Maria Thattil is dipping her toe into the world of shoes with a debut collection in partnership with Novo. Tap the photo to shop the collection.

“I wanted to add my touch and my passion for representation to create something that would suit a lot of different people,” Maria tells The Weekly.

“For me with this collection, it wasn’t about gender, it was about encouraging people to believe in themselves. It’s about encouraging people to figure out how they want to express their individuality and how they break boundaries.”

Maria also explains that beyond theorising concepts behind the collection, she also had a hand (and a foot) in creating, designing and testing each of the five shoes. 

“Anyone who knows me knows I’m very, very creatively and commercially involved in all my projects…I would even scrunch up pieces of paper just to show the team how I wanted the width of a certain shoe to look,” Maria laughs.

Whilst creating shoes sounds like the dream job for any fashionista, Maria was adamant that the collection needed to be more than just shoes, it needed to represent the passion, advocacy and drive that has defined her career. With this in mind, she has dubbed the shoes: bravery, purpose, rebellion, joy and power.

Maria will also make her highly-anticipated Neighbours debut this year.

“I wanted to create a lot of variation and beautiful tonality that represents so much of what I advocate around celebrating diversity and learning to embrace my own skin tone,” Maria explains.

“It doesn’t matter what gender, what age, who they are or where they’re from, I wanted the shoes to be accessible for everybody. I want them to wear them and feel like they can show up as themselves just as I’ve learned.”

The collection can be summed up with a perfectly apt tagline – ‘Leave Your Footprint’. Like the lasting indentation our shoes can leave, Maria champions the mindsets and actions that leave a legacy – or a footprint. 

“If I can just impact even one person so they know that they don’t have to fit a blueprint, that they can show up as they want and that they believe in themselves and don’t feel like they need to fit in, then that’s all I can hope to leave in a legacy.”

Shop the Novo x Maria Thattil collection here.

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