At So Catchy! Where Fashion Begins, we’ve interviewed many footwear designers. Some have surprised us with the materials that they use, others by the innovative processes behind their work and still others by using footwear as a way to express an idea.
It wasn’t easy to choose only 4 designers and 2 brands, but we’ve prepared a list that, we hope, will inspire you.
The story behind Ray Garzia Shoes is what caught our attention. Alfonso and Carmela are two architects who decided to set out into the world of footwear and to redefine the concept of the “boto” or boot from Valverde del Camino, a small village in the Spanish province of Huelva that has manufacture high-quality shoes, originally as work boots, for over a hundred years.
They use only the best skin and leather, including fish skin, from sunfish, and heels made from olive wood from Jaén. Their designs fit into the mold of renewed classicism, they are artisanal and made with the values that we like so much: design, quality, a lack of pretension and ecological. Their brand is 100% slow fashion or, as they like to put it, honest, where you can see the hands of the person who made it and the quality of the materials.
Photo courtesy of Lourdes Rodríguez
We were the first to write about her and we couldn’t be happier about her success. Silvia Fado is a young Spaniard, educated in London who, as we mentioned in the article, deserves a place in the history of footwear for her desire to make high heels more comfortable. She surprised us all with a collection of hydraulic shoes, an assortment of mechanisms that served as a cushioning device to make walking on heels more comfortable. We can’t wait to see her new Spring / Summer 2016 collection, which will be presented at the
Image courtesy of Silvia Fado.
Alejandra Simonetta, young Argentine impressed us with her project “External Bones”, where she took all of the hidden parts of the shoe, like the shank, and externalized them. Her research began with looking at the pieces as the skeleton of the shoe and could lead to further research into new types of soles for high heels. A part from brushed steel, she uses environmentally friendly materials like salmon skin from Chile. The result is a beautiful deconstruction of the shoe.
Photo by Riccardo Nieddu.
Hollie White, the designer behind Ellis White, has taken an important step forward in the world of footwear with the materials she uses. Her work, which we like to call “industrial artisanry” uses BitLeather, a material made from thrown-away leather, like the holes that are left over from perforating, to create a solid mixture that has the appearance of stone for heals and soles. We think you should take a moment and watch this video so you can truly see the beauty of the project. And you can check out the interview she gave us when we were in London.
Photo by Wig Worland.
Claudia and Pablo are the brains behind Naguisa, the brand that came about in 2012 in Barcelona. Their strong point is a jute-rope sole and the artisanal way that they produce them but the two are expanding their horizons and getting into cork and wood. The end result is a pair of shoes that is practical, comfortable, made to last and to like.
Images courtesy of Naguisa.
And finally, we want to introduce you to Miista, a brand from London made in Spain that is becoming quite successful. They see themselves as irreverent, independent and curious. They are motivated by bringing together impossible elements in their shows so that, together with the right creative energy, they blend seamlessly, creating a modern and quality shoe. Every month, they also give away a few pairs of their “miistas” to those who make a selfie with their shoes that transmits what the brand is all about. Find out more here.
Image courtesy of Miista.
Translation and Layout by Michael Padilla