Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thanks Christian

Sorry all, I'm a bit tired to do a proper post, but thought I'd share this quote from a Footwear News interview with Christian Louboutin in the June 7th, 2010 issue. (And for those of you who don't know what Footwear News is, it's the WWD of the footwear world. And for those of you who don't know what WWD is, it's the Wall Street Journal of the fashion world. And for those of you who don't know who Christian Louboutin is...then we've got a big problem!)

FN: Given all your success, do you feel a lot of pressure to stay on top?
CL: When I'm in the factory, that's when I feel the pressure, when I see all those people working in my company. It's very important to keep people who have families and children all working. Apart from that, not really. I concentrate on my work and this is really what counts.

A few factories in my area have shut down during the recent crisis because stores can't pay the designers for their orders, and then designers can't pay their factories, and then factories can't pay their employees (like me!). I've worked in two different factories and visited scores of others, and in all of them the employees have been such wonderful people, so it's nice to see some recognition and responsibility on the part of the designers.

Thanks Christian.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Georgina Georgina

It's no secret that I love Georgina Goodman. I first heard about her when I studied at Cordwainers (where she also studied), where my teachers referred to her as the recent graduate with most real talent.

I'm crazy for her signature striped soles...

...her fabulously architectural constructions...

...her luxe materials and details...
...and her collection of shoes made on site at her store in Mayfair, London.

I have several pairs of these striped ballet flats - they're my go-to flat and they last forever!

And what's even better than Georgina Goodman? Georgina Goodman for Brian Reyes...I just saw these online and I love how tough and rustic they are.

from and

Monday, June 28, 2010

Insider's Look II

Here are a few more pictures from the factory...

Working on the cutting table. He's using the cutting version of one of the CAD-for-footwear softwares along with a projector that shines up into a mirror which then bounces the reflection back down onto the leather on the table so he can arrange the pieces on the skins.

The cutting table seen from above.

A pattern in cartone rosso (red cardboard used for patterns) used to trim a quilted upper.

Can you guess which factory I visited yet? (The hint is the quilting. Check back next week for the answer...)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Groceries? What groceries?

These booties have me reconsidering my judgement that groceries are more important than new shoes. Hmmm....

Friday, June 25, 2010

Perfectly Pastel

Things are heating up here, and I'm thinking of bringing some of my white summer dresses out of their winter hibernation. Just wish I had a pair of these wedges to wear them with...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Vintage Inspiration

Years ago Vigevano (outside of Milano) was the center of luxury footwear in northern Italy. Now that honor goes to Parabiago, where I work, but I must say that the vintage made-in-Vigevano shoes are much more beautiful and precise than the shoes I work on. The stitching is so tiny and perfect. I can't imagine putting that much attention to a pair of shoes anymore, and it makes me wish I'd come here 40 years ago when the now run-down factories were elegant and the owners proud and sophisticated. I picked up a copy of Il Tacco a Spillo: Fascino e Seduzione from the International Footwear Museum last time I was in Vigevano and it provides me with tons of inspiration. Just look at some of these examples...

Monday, June 21, 2010

For the Fellas

Sorry ladies, but this one is for the guys...Men's shoe design has been lagging behind in past years, but after perusing the Mr. Hare site, I think that's all starting to change. The London-based company, besides having one of the coolest sites I've seen in a while, has a beautiful collection of classic men's shoes updated in shape, materials, and cut. Everything is super luxe and, as I imagine Mr. Hare himself to be, oozes with cool. He describes one shoe as the shoe he'd design if Fred Astaire came knocking at his door asking for a pair. Another is the shoe to wear "'when you absolutely, positively have to kill every motherf*cker in the room.'" Ladies, even you should check it out...if only to inspire your next designer crush.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Insider's Look

While in school in Milano, I visited one of the bigger shoe factories in the area along with a luxury tannery. A classmate of mine took some pictures and I just found them last week and wanted to share them with you all. For the next couple of Mondays I'll be posting pictures (sorry for the quality, we weren't supposed to have a camera inside the factory)...enjoy!

A look from above the factory floor. Those machines in the bottom are for cutting leather from patterns made on CAD (I use a similar machine at work).

Sandals on the production line.


Sorry all, my attempts at a full week of blogging were destroyed by my Italian internet, which decides when it wants to work (and perhaps partly thanks to my lack of tech skills)...going to give it another try this week.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Sorry, no post today. Mr. B's in town and things are a bit crazy!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Inspiration: Color Scheme

I've seen this portrait by John Murray a few times and its rich, earthy colors always catch my eye...I'd love to see this color scheme on a pair of chunky sandals for summer.

* from Elle Decor Italia's June 2010 issue

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mary Ching

Did my weekly magazine binge on Sunday and picked up a copy of Elle Decor Italia's June issue. In it I spotted a photo of Shanghai-based designer Mary Ching's wacky store...

I did a bit of exploring on her site and I love the massive platforms and metallic snakeskin...
Plus she has the most adorable blog about living in Shanghai and, among other things, how to pick up guys in a sports bar wearing her World Cup ballet flats!
Most importantly, her collection is "proud to be 'Made in China, Created in Shanghai.'" Here in Italy 'Made in China' has a pretty bad reputation, so it's refreshing to see a young designer promoting luxury footwear 'Made in China.'

* check her out online at

Tie Dye

I spotted these tie dyed leathers a couple months back at Lineapelle (the HUGE leather show here in Italy) - reminds me of the tie dyed t-shirts stands along the highway back home...I think they'd be fab for a pair of cagey sandals!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Candy Stripes

Just saw Sex and the City (in Italian) and fell in love with Charlotte's red and white candy stripe dress. I was dreaming of stripes the rest of the movie, and I still can't get them out of my head...