Friday, October 29, 2010

If the Shoe Fits, Wear it Two Ways


No piece of fashion gets my heart beating faster than shoes.  The amount of craftsmanship and beauty that can be packed into something so small astounds me.  I can never be bored with shoes.  I can wear an unassuming outfit of all black/white/gray/beige, but with a wicked pair of heels I am electric.

There aren't many Canadians designing shoes.  Montreal-born, London-based Erdem is the most well-known and well-connected.  Seriously, when Nicholas Kirkwood is designing shoes for your collection, you have arrived.  Torontonian Abel Munoz combined his design background and Milan training to create Abel Munoz Accessories, an exquisite line of Italian-made leather shoes, boots and bags for men and women.  They're sold at George C. in Yorkville, do check him out.

Now comes Martina Riley.  A simple idea between two girl friends evolved into a full fledged women's shoe collection that re-imagines form and function.  There is Martina Riley, the signature collection and Martina Riley Inspired, an expanded collection with discretely changeable uppers using high-grade hardware that lets a single pair of shoes don two looks.  Two looks, one yum.
Founders Jennifer Mackintosh and Jane Gutcher credit their busy lifestyle mix and love of travel with spawning the idea for Martina Riley.  The collection nods to their favourite global destinations with shoe names like Bermuda, Rio and Casablanca.  The label is hand-made in Brazil.
Mustique, with interchangeable pearl & python upper
Whether you're jet-setting around the world or just heading from the office to dinner with friends, these shoes will be a welcome addition to any wardrobe, especially at an approachable price point of $250 - $475.  
Bermuda, with interchangeable tangerine & mango upper

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