Take your astrological sign off the charts and into reality by slipping into your new lucky stars: these zodiac-themed flats from the Charlotte Olympia Cosmic Collection.
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Take your astrological sign off the charts and into reality by slipping into your new lucky stars: these zodiac-themed flats from the Charlotte Olympia Cosmic Collection.
During Paris Fashion Week in March, The Thread ventured to the 8th arrondissement, near Place Charles de Gaulle, to check out the pop-up showroom of London-based shoe brand Charlotte Olympia.
We were on a mission: to slip into shoes from the Cosmic Collection of designer Charlotte Dellal (pictured above). Handcrafted in Italy, this capsule line of suede flats celebrates the 12 star signs and features hand-painted Zodiac symbols embellished with Swarovski crystals.
The stars must have been aligned that day, because not only did we get to try on the collection, we gained an understanding of what a pair of shoes can reveal about a person! Each style comes with a one-of-a-kind horoscope book, so whether you’re a curious Aquarius or a larger-than-life Leo, there’s no guessing as to what puts pep in your step.
Go behind the seams of the Cosmic Collection, as Charlotte shares some insight on her journey through the Zodiac.
THE THREAD: When conceptualizing this collection, what interesting discoveries did you make about the 12 signs of the Zodiac and how they relate to shoes?
CHARLOTTE DELLAL: The Cosmic Collection is something I have toyed with for a long time. As with most of my collections, the Zodiac is a topic that easily adapts to a large dose of novelty and fun while still being quite classic. I decided to focus on individual jewel-like accessories, including details such as choosing the color of a shoe depending on the element of the star sign.
Four Elements: The color palette takes inspiration from earth, air, fire and water.
THE THREAD: Why do you think people enjoy following horoscopes and astrology?
CHARLOTTE: I think people are generally interested in all things mystical. Personally, I don’t live by astrology, but I am open to certain elements and enjoy recognizing my star sign’s traits in myself. I do love to know other people’s star signs too—I am quite good at guessing!
THE THREAD: Tell us about the creative process of making your horoscope accessories book. Did you learn something new about your own shoe style?
CHARLOTTE: I learned a lot about the different characteristics of each sign. In terms of my own sign, Geminis are apparently youthful and witty, which is something I try to apply to my work. I enjoy a good giggle! I do relate to the nervousness and indecisiveness: I am often in two minds about something!
THE THREAD: You once said you “don’t really think in flats.” What was the turning point that made you realize a woman’s closet needs flats too?
CHARLOTTE: I’ve always worn heels and flats but mostly heels! As my motto goes: “The higher the heel, the better you feel!” Flats can be feminine and fun–two adjectives that define the very essence of Charlotte Olympia. For example, the ‘Kitty’ is a classic and it is featured in the Encore Collection. It is one of our bestsellers and is the perfect run-around shoe. Plus, what kind of female designer would I be if I only designed heels?!
What do your shoes say about you? Find the answers with the Cosmic Collection.
Photos by Ford Leland
Looking for a sole unlike any other? Our spring/summer ’13 Jimmy Choo lookbook features everything from power pumps to polished flats. See how this fresh collection springs to life with the help of Sandra Choi, the brand’s creative director.
One of the most coveted coffee table books for any shoe enthusiast is Salvatore Ferragamo: The Art of the Shoe 1898-1960, which was first published in 1992. Now 20-plus years later, Ferragamo’s life story moves from the pages of a book to a one-of-a-kind exhibit, “The Amazing Shoemaker: Fairy Tales and Legends about Shoes and Shoemakers,” which celebrated its grand opening in Florence, Italy, yesterday at the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo.
Check out images from the opening that explores the role shoes play in fairy tales, myths and legends. Discover why Ferragamo’s vision and brand remain the epitome of Italian luxury.
The Ferragamo family—alongside Wanda Ferragamo, Salvatore’s widow and the brand’s honorary chairwoman—hosted the inaugural event that intimately revealed the magical life and legacy of the late designer via installations, comic books, animation, short films, stories and antique treasures.
Ferragamo became a household name in the ’20s with the help of Hollywood, creating fabulous footwear for leading ladies such as Audrey Hepburn, Katharine Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich.
“We are very proud to have organized such an extraordinary, singular event,” said Ferruccio Ferragamo, the chairman of the Ferragamo Group. “We didn’t want another brand retrospective but rather an authentic production, presenting countless works of art specifically commissioned for this exhibition, displayed side-by-side with prestigious ancient pieces borrowed from other museums.”
The exhibit was curated by Stefania Ricci, Sergio Risaliti, and Luca Scarlini.
Heading to Florence? This exhibition will be open from now until March 31, 2014.
Photos courtesy of Salvatore Ferragamo
Today, famed shoe designer Giuseppe Zanotti turns 56 years young. Destined for a career in footwear, Zanotti hails from San Mauro Pascoli, a small town near Rimini, Italy, which is noted for its rich shoemaking history.
We wish you a very happy birthday, Giuseppe, from the bottoms of our hearts and soles!
A Wedge Worth Celebrating: Giuseppe Zanotti Wedge Pump
Join TOMS and Nordstrom tomorrow, April 16, by going barefoot to raise awareness for the millions of children around the world who don’t have shoes. Stop by your favorite Nordstrom to learn more about the One Day Without Shoes Movement and TOMS—a company that matches every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need.
Learn more about the TOMS movement.
The Jessica Simpson ‘Georg’ Sandal: blending studded straps and a slash of snake—we call that living life on the wedge.
Feeling a little tickle in your toes? They may be in desperate need of some sunshine. Prep your step for a spring awakening with the Sam Edelman ‘Mason’ sandal: a sky-high platform with a bold woven texture and skinny stiletto heel, on trend without trying. It’s just the right inspiration for giving those closed-toe shoes a rest from the long winter wear.
Speaking of dressing for spring sunshine, get a head-to-toe fashion update with more fresh looks over in our Spring Essentials.
Alicia Keys took a break from her “Set the World on Fire” tour to debut her Reebok Classic Freestyle wedge sneakers at Nordstrom at The Grove in Los Angeles. Extra co-host Maria Menounos hosted a Q&A with Alicia during the launch party, where customers had the chance to hear from her about her Reebok collaboration, her style inspirations, her personal sneaker collection and more. Here are some excerpts from the event:
Maria Menounos: Tell me what it feels like to have your own shoe line.
Alicia Keys: It feels really cool. I’ve got to say, I don’t know if you guys know, but I’m actually a sneaker fanatic, and growing up, it was always about how I could match my sneakers with everything, with my jacket and with my hair ties in my hair. Sneakers have always been a big part of my culture and my life. Growing up in the city, you wear sneakers because you have to walk everywhere and you go everywhere on the train. When I was younger, I would always be like “If these were mine, I’d make them this color and that color and match them with this.” It was really cool to actually make them.
Maria (pictured right): Why did you decide to partner with Reebok?
Alicia: I’ve been really blessed to work with Reebok, and I love them. I think culturally, as a company, they have the right type of attitude and the right type of style. They are timeless. They’ve been around for a really long time, which is incredible. The inspiration for my spring collection came from what Reebok calls their Freestyle, but when I was young, I called them the 5411s, because after tax, they cost $54.11. I wanted to evolve the Freestyle, and that’s what we’re introducing first. Reebok as a company really wants to live with passion—they want to live with fire—and that really resonates with me. Not only have I been connected to them since I was a kid but also now that I’m getting to know them, work with them. I really see just the culture of the company, and it has a really powerful message.
Reebok ‘Freestyle Hi Wedge A. Keys’ Sneaker in Black/Pink/Yellow/White, (Nordstrom Exclusive).
Maria: Talk about the creative process—what was that like for you?
Alicia: The creative process was so much fun! How great it is to have another outlet of creativity and be able to explore different ways to bring that out? We created a first line with no wedge in it, and that was a way for us to get introduced to each other. So on this next wave, we’ve just been having a ball. It’s very hands-on, something I enjoy doing. They send me these huge papers and we go through them a hundred times to make sure we love them before we put them into production. So it’s been really fun to work on.
Maria: Tell me about how many pairs of sneakers you own.
Alicia: I think I have a lot of sneakers, but not as many as my husband. It’s a competition in the household, and he might have me beat on sneakers, but I do have a lot of pairs. I am a sneaker girl. I love them. I don’t know if I’ve ever counted them.
Maria: Where does your style inspiration come from?
Alicia: My style inspiration comes from everywhere. I think there’s definitely a combination from growing up in New York and stomping the pavement. There is definitely a toughness that I like a lot. And then obviously becoming a woman and really appreciating my womanhood and femininity. So my style kind of emerges from those two. There is always going to be a bit of a tough element and also a sweet or sensual element to it as well. I really like it when they collide, as it feels exactly like who I am.
Maria: What was your favorite show or city you played and why?
Alicia: Each one is different. Each night is different. Each energy is different. We performed here [in L.A.] two nights ago, and the energy was just ridiculous, that’s for sure. One of the cities that I really love a lot is Lisbon, Portugal. Something about the energy, the people. It was my first time there, so it was seeing a new place with old history. It was just really cool.
The Reebok Classic Freestyle Wedge A. Keys Collection will be available exclusively in the BP. Shoes department at select Nordstrom stores and online.
Every family has traditions, and for three generations, the Pedro García clan has artistically produced fine footwear while redefining luxury from a “Made in Spain” point of view. This family of shoemakers draws upon its heritage and uncompromising craftsmanship to continuously keep the design-conscious one step ahead of the pack.
So what exactly goes into the creation of a Pedro García shoe? From designers to patternmakers, 89 people are involved in the process between conception and the time the shoes actually grace your feet. We sought out two very important people who lead this unique design process—brother-and-sister duo Mila and Pedro García—and talked shop with them from their Elda headquarters in Alicante, Spain.
THE THREAD: For many women, shoes are the ultimate objects of desire. What is it about a pair of Pedro García shoes that so enchants women of all ages and demographics?
PEDRO GARCÍA: For us, as we often say, our shoes speak for themselves. The strength of our styles is their design; that is what makes them so peculiar and desirable. Besides, we have always thought that seductive design can be perfectly combined with comfort. That mixture is what makes a style a definite must-have.
You represent three generations of shoemakers. Did you always want to get into the family business? How have you both expanded the brand’s identity and aesthetic?
PG: As children, neither of us pictured ourselves in the family business, but in fact, it was a very natural process. I started with summer internships at the factory, which were a necessary experience for me to decide whether or not I wanted to continue with the company. After came the academic training period in Milan and the FIT. At that time, Mila already had beginning traveling to the U.S. with our father and helping him in practically every aspect of the business. Then, in 1991, our father invited us to join the company in its next epoch. Building a business of the scale we wanted required a huge effort and investment from all of us, but we agreed to undertake the venture together. We had to build a brand and—more specifically in the design field—we had to create a design identity for the brand we were building. Dale (my American girlfriend) and I have been at the helm of creative direction since 1992, and we had to start from the foundations. Mila has always been the director of the company, in charge of marketing especially. We have always had very clear business goals, and although communication between us has always been very fluent, we think that from the very beginning, we knew that each of us had a specific working area in which the other one shouldn’t interfere.
Pedro García ‘Mariel’ Sandal
In December, you released the book Pedro García: Three Generations of Shoemakers. As you were putting together this memoir on your father’s life, which chapter or section in the book moved you the most?
PG: Now that it is finished, we realize that putting this book together has been important not only for my father but also for us. Our father played the most important role in making our family business last. He inherited the business from our grandfather and had the talent and the power to make it bigger and stronger, and then he knew how to handle the transition from the first generation to us, the third one. That is what this book has made clear for us, and maybe this is what moves us the most: to realize how our father has helped us and how inspiring his example has been. How he has made us more than just designers or shoe manufacturers. He has shown us what it means to be an entrepreneur, and shown us the risks involved as well. He has helped me and Mila to think big.
As well, the chapter when, in 1965, he decides to travel to New York alone, only accompanied by the samples of his collection packed in ten suitcases, certainly is particularly touching for all the family.
Pedro García ‘Mika’ Sandal
The phrase “Made in Spain” is associated with your brand’s DNA. How do you fuse Spanish culture into your designs? Do you agree with the statement that creativity defines a nation’s strength?
PG: Yes, our brand is clearly and unquestionably associated with the “Made in Spain” mark. But we don’t think we can define our design as particularly Spanish. We must design while keeping the international market in mind. Our brand is Spanish because we are a Spanish family of shoemakers that owns a Spanish company and—mainly—because our shoes are manufactured in Spain, exclusively in our home area: Elda, Alicante, a shoemaking city with highly skilled artisans. To be “Made in Spain” implies for us a strong sense of responsibility toward “our people.” We aim to have the business make a positive impact in our area, and that is why 100% of our production is manufactured in Elda. That’s also why “Made in Spain” appears in our logo.
Pedro García ‘Pamela’ Sandal
Tell us about the creative direction for your spring/summer 2013 campaign and collection. What unique design elements are standouts for this season?
PG: The mood of our collection for this spring and summer is “exuberant and flirty,” as we say in our catalog. It is enthusiastic, positive, optimistic—good-humored, in a way. It has some obvious winks and references to the Flirty ’50s, like in the printed wedges and the cutouts of the Tropical Castoro group, or in the Patent group, where we use very contemporary colors or elements like the metallic spike heels to reinvent classic styles and give them a new vintage appeal. But one of the big standouts this season is the use of electrifying neon colors mixed with micro-crystal in our flat sandals. The Patent collection is also presented in some vibrant neon colors too. That increases the party-party mood. Even our vachetta leather sandals appear this season as multi-straps, with plenty of buckles and on top of serrated rubber soles or mixed with python. It’s all kinds of playful and excessive.
In fact, we design in a very organic, fluid way, meaning that we evolve from one collection to the next one in a sort of an ongoing manner, but we always seek to find something new and exciting that makes the new styles look really different and unique. However, there are certain traits or materials we have been using for a long time and that have become part of our design identity. We call them our icons: Swarovski crystals on flat sandals, anatomical soles on high heels, rough-hewn finish on some materials like vachetta leather or satin.
Pedro García ‘Galatea’ Sandal
What does a pair of shoes say about someone’s overall style?
PG: Shoes say a lot about a person and her or his style. But what they say depends on many things: the rest of the outfit, the occasion, what the woman or the man feels or wants to express. But mainly, it depends on the eyes of the person looking at them.
Pedro García ‘Yoshi’ Smoking Slipper
L to R: Lana del Rey, Kristen Stewart and Drew Barrymore are just a few of the brand’s celebrity fans.
When it comes to celebrities, who is the ultimate Pedro García girl?
PG: We feel honored when we see celebrities wearing our shoes, but we don’t consider ourselves a red carpet brand. What’s really satisfying is when celebrities have actually purchased a pair of our shoes for themselves.
Slip into a chic pair of Pedro García shoes from the spring ’13 collection.
Photos courtesy of Pedro García