Since I am currently residing in Spain, I thought it would only be appropriate to do a post on the shoes in Spain, or shall I say “zappatos.” Spain, I will have you know, is the second-largest footwear producing country in the E.U., under Italy(duh), and tenth in the world! With its rich tradition of leather craftsmanship, Spain has long produced footwear for venerable fashion houses like Lanvin or Yves Saint Laurent. It is only recently that the country’s designers have focused distinctly on their fellow Spaniards as potential customers. Changes are needed to be made to reach this desire, but there are definitely some challenges lying ahead for these designers. The commercial manager at FICE, the Spanish Federation of Footwear designers, was quoted saying, “Spanish firms do not have enough financial muscle to cope with ad campaigns or PR activities or a strong fashion image like the ‘Made in Italy’. “So their main focus is on design – very special, unique and creative – as well as on good quality and good service.” The half-Brazilian, half-Japanese Mihara, is a shoe designer based in Elda, Valencia, who has taken these considerations into account and been successful. The region of Valencia is Spain’s hub for women’s footwear design and the home of its domestic industry. Miraha’s designs are different than most of the luxury brands, and is looking to achieve a highly creative line of shoes. Her shoes are not intended for the ultra-sexy Dolce and Gabbana wearing women, but rather making them feel feminine and comfortable, while still being their own self. Click Here to visit Mihara’s shoe website.
Offering something completely distinctive, transcending trends with a creative twist, is Pura López’s focus. “I try to combine fantasy with practicality,” said the 45-year-old shoe designer. Lopez plays with colors and and heels, because he feels that shoes do not only compliment the outfit, but that they are “a key object for expressing femininity and seduction. Shoes are communication.” I could not have said it better myself, Pura. Spanish women have a wild side to them, and they are independent, feisty and fiery, which is reflected in these new designs. “What makes Spanish shoes special,” Mihara said, “is that we are offering quality shoes with a trendy look. The prices for shoes made in Spain are still not as high as in Italy, but the quality is the same.”