Sven is the founder and the creative inspiration behind Po-Zu. Growing up in a small village in Israel with his carpenter grandfather and mechanic father, Sven has always been driven by a passion to build and fix things.
After experimenting with architecture and photography, Sven discovered a talent for footwear design and became a shoemakers apprentice at a local family-run business. Within a few months he had secured a place at London’s prestigious Cordwainers College and moved to England to begin his career in Footwear Design.
During his final year of studies Sven was fortunate to spend 6 months at the world-renowned John Lobb as a last-maker apprentice, which gave him invaluable acumen for fine craftsmanship and high quality.
After graduation Sven travelled the world as a freelance shoe designer, but he quickly became disheartened by the manufacturing practices he found. The working conditions in many overseas factories were exploitive and routinely used toxic materials such as solvents and glues.
Sven resolved to challenge these practices and after 3 years of research and development he set up Po-Zu in 2006, to demonstrate how stylish, high quality footwear could be created without harm to people or planet.
In 2012 Sven’s efforts were recognised with a PEA award, and he continues to grow the Po-Zu brand and to push for greater responsibility across the footwear industry.
Occasionally, when shoes are coming out of his ears, Sven enjoys cycling, yoga, collaborating for good, mentoring on sustainability, and campaigning for environmental causes with his local Friends of the Earth group.
Towards the end of the 20th century our founder Sven met Luisa during his early career as a shoe designer whilst working in Portugal for other brands, and ever since they kept a close working relationship, and friendship too.
Despite not using any adhesives in our shoes, Luisa is like the strongest and most organic glue we could dream of between our factory, and us. Conveniently based in Portugal she sees to most of our local development and production needs.
Her sense of style may have come from an earlier stint as a stewardess, and her excellent communication skills most likely from a later career as a newsreader on Porto’s television.
Luisa graduated in Business Management and later set up Quovadis in 1984; a production and sourcing fashion agency in Porto, building an impressive portfolio for some of the most iconic British footwear brands and fashion designers, such as Red Or Dead, Matthew Williamson, and Orla Kiely to name a few.