I had the opportunity to ask Maggi Mercado, design director of Asgi shoes, a few questions about her own style, the Asgi brand and her fashion advice for you (men and women). She has some great advice that I think all of you will benefit from, and she offers an exciting sneak peak into what’s next for Asgi shoes. Check it out!
1. How would you describe your overall everyday ‘style’?
I travel a great deal, move around a lot, and therefore wear trousers, pants suits and narrow jeans a lot with the Carina Bootie and the Roma Bootie. The booties are great for travel because they are easy to take off and put on at airport security areas. I also collect accessories (large pieces of jewelry, unusual bags and belts) to update my look and try to travel with one or two color palettes to mix and match. This season I’m buying accessories (eyeglasses, bags, jewelry and scarves) in the metallic colors of the season which go with everything and this helps when I need to get ready fast.
I am short and my husband is very tall so I favor heels, booties and wedges. I like soft lower heel booties such as the Tahoe Bootie from Asgi’s Classic Collection. Sandals like the Tau or Clio Wedge were my recent summer favorites and took me through several trips to China, Europe and the U.S.
I am Latin and therefore not afraid to wear color and to mix and match colors. I find that the colors affect my mood. While working from the home office, I like to get up early and get dressed as if I were going to an outside office. This helps my creativity and our local Starbucks is filled with well-dressed professionals in the morning. Because I’m a designer, I sometimes end up with color markers and pen marks all over my tops so now I wear mostly black tops.
2. What would be your top three recommendations for men and women buying shoes right now? (shoe styles, colors, shopping advice, etc.)
For men I believe it’s important to have a clean loafer in black or chocolate brown, even in a beautiful burgundy which looks sensational with navy and gray suits. This is also a color that is easy to wear and to keep clean. A casual shoe in beautiful leathers and high tech materials, with laces can be very multi purpose and used for travel and casual office attire. Of course, a nice pair boots are a good investment and can be worn year round.
I always suggest people buy footwear that is adjustable or has removable foot beds, as feet swell during the day therefore the ability to customize your shoe is a good one.
For women, a bootie, ballerina and loafer are fashion-musts. Purchasing a shoe or bootie in purple, wine, gray suede or a metallic color also adds a bit more fashion. Perforations and metallics are very pretty as well. Asgi’s Dolce Pump and Marcy Mary Jane combine both of these trends. Additionally, a woman should always have a good quality pump in her wardrobe; it’s the little black dress of shoes.
3. What has been the biggest challenge with trying to combine technology and luxury?
Asgi was determined to design and create an entirely new type of technology that would dramatically impact the comfort of shoes without sacrificing style. This was a complex process that has resulted in our innovative patent-pending technology called Soleplex. There is a stabilizer and chassis system that delivers a unique walking experience. We believe that Asgi revolutionized the design process by creating an entirely new fashion look with unique pods on the soles that give the shoes a beautiful silhouette. We complemented the innovative look by using the finest materials including hand-selected, full-grain leathers.
4. I’ve noticed that most Asgi shoes are grey, black, brown or a metallic hue. Do you think you’ll branch out into bolder colors along with the bold designs?
Our fall line features this season’s popular metallic colors such as silver, pewter and bronze. Some of our shoes also incorporate purple, the season’s hottest shade.
Asgi’s spring 2009 collection will be all about textures and colors. We will integrate textures such as perforations, matte nappas, meteorite finishes and colorful patents creating a distinctive look. The shoes will feature some unique colors and combinations such as silver and white, shimmery and pearlized pastels with classic colors. Our chassis provide additional canvas for color and graphic designs.
5. What inspires you to design? Music? Art? Other shoe designers?
We collaborate with a state-of the-art design studio outside of Venice, Italy, Andre Maritan Studio. Also, I am always attending the trend, accessories, components, color and material shows such as Trend Selection and the Tanners Art show. Travel is always inspirational but after all footwear must work with the silhouettes and trends in apparel. I particularly pay attention to the hemlines, the prints, colors, textures and notions used in apparel as well as the direction in the trouser legs (narrow, stovepipe or boot cut) because it all affects the proportion of the vamp of the shoes. The American consumer is a busy multi-tasker and shoes must be easy to wear, to clean and deliver comfort for long busy days.
6. What is next for Asgi shoe designs?
You will see more of an Italian design influence incorporated into Asgi shoes. The shoes will feature bold colors and rich textures for a sophisticated look. Through our Italian-American design collaboration we incorporate the finest materials and stylish creations.
For more information about Asgi shoes and to find a retailer near you, visit www.asgishoes.com.