Upcoming Chilean shoe designer Barbara Briones has crept onto my shoe radar, and she is definitely one to watch! I’ve been smitten ever since I laid eyes on her purple tie-dye pump, just one of the beautifully-handcrafted shoes from her Spring/Summer 2011 collection.
Barbara is reviving the shoemaking tradition in her home country, employing local artisans and leather artists in Santiago, Chile to produce her shoes. The way she mixes various materials and moods with an undercurrent of vintage glamour is extremely charming.
After studying in London at the Cordwainers school, Barbara worked for Mulberry in London, and for Ferragamo in Firenze before launching her line a few seasons ago. From ankle booties to sandals and flats, the current collection offers something special for every taste.
And, as the designer herself asserts, these shoes are designed for wearing.
Even though what we design should be an object of desire, we cannot forget that it should also be wearable.
I am excited to announce the beginning of FN Shoe Star, the only online reality shoe design competition! What’s even more exciting is that I have been selected to be a part of the official FN Blogger Panel. Twelve young shoe designers will compete to see who is the best in this contest, a collaboration between Footwear News, The Fashion Institute of Technology, and Brown Shoe. While the official webisodes debut on January 24, there are a couple of things going on at the website NOW that I think you’ll want to check out!
As a FN Shoe Star blogger panelist, I will be commenting on the episodes as they appear and I’ll make sure to share with you exciting stuff going on at Brown Shoe, such as the Fan Favorite Finalist Contest, in which one lucky person will win a $250 gift card! To enter, go to FNShoeStar.com and click on the Applicants tab. Choose your favorite applicant from the posted profiles, according to what you think of their bio, sketches and sample shoe. Click on the “Cast Your Vote Today” button to select your favorite applicant! Voting is open through January 15, 2011.
The first webisode is live, and you can watch the “Where Are They Now” video following contestants from last season to see what they are up to today and learn their advice for this year’s finalists.
The first FN Shoe Star contest began more than three years ago, and many of the contestants from previous years have gone on to become successful in the footwear industry. This year the contest will be more widely promoted and it promises to be exciting! Please stay tuned this month for the new FN Shoe Star.