What do I wear with: Chie Mihara “Etrus” Sandal

Each Wednesday we’ll answer the ongoing question: “What do I wear with these?” It’s a question we get quite often here at the shop and we love giving suggestions when helping our customers. This week we feature the Chie Mihara “Etrus” sandal.

What to Wear with Chie Mihara"Etrus" Sandal

 

Hello there! This week we feel the need to shed our winter clothes and boots. Maybe we physically can’t do this yet, but we can dream of of sunnier skies and warm breezes can’t we? This sandal by Chie Mihara should do the trick! Wear it with printed shorts, silk pants or a simple black sheath. Because of its sophisticated color combination you can dress it up or down for practically any occasion. Now, if only the sun would come out.

Items from re-souL:

> Chie Mihara “Etrus” sandal in black and forest green, made in Spain. 
Iris Guy Sofer “Shapes” necklace, oxidized sterling silver. 

To view the other items featured along with their links as well as more outfit pairing suggestions, check out resouL’s profile on polyvore.

Creating the re-souL Collection: Design Process

This post is a continuation from a previous story “Designing a re-souL Collection: What if?” 

Back in July of last year, we had the idea of “what if we designed our own women’s shoe collection?” It was a question that became the answer to our initial dilemma. How do we remain relevant, novel and exciting in a constant changing global marketplace?  As a small business, if we want to continue to grow (let alone survive) we have to be willing to change and  creating our own shoe collection just seemed like a natural progression. So we set forth on this journey and we’re ready to share our story.

In our shop, we constantly felt there was a void in our offering for seasonal “must have” styles of shoes. I wanted to create a capsule collection for Spring that would help fill in some of those missing items that our customers were always asking for; like the perfect ballet flat, the essential lace-up oxford, an everyday sandal. You get the picture.  So I started to do some research, collaborate more with our customers and ultimately started to sketch.

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A couple of drawings in my sketchbook.

I will admit it had been a long time since I sketched a shoe. Too long. My first couple of attempts were less than stellar.  But as I continued to keep drawing, it started to come back to me and I remembered what is was like to create patterns, soles, and toe shapes. I really enjoyed using my sketchbook again and was inspired to keep drawing.

Once I had all my ideas and sketches completed, I started to think about colors and the collection’s palette. I created mood boards with images and swatches. I lived with those boards for a couple of weeks and played with the colors, and then narrowed it down to what I felt would be important for the spring season.

A few weeks later, I was ready to put all of my ideas to work at a factory. So, I enlisted the help of our agent and friend in Italy, Cristina. Why Italy, you may ask? First and foremost, they are the best at making shoes hands down. Second, I wanted to work with a small factory that would be able to produce small quantities and manufacturing in other countries just isn’t an option for us. We hope to offer shoes that are beautiful and a good value, we believe Italy is the best place to achieve this.

Mood Boards

Since Cristina and I have worked with each other for years, I knew she would be able to help us find just the right resources. So in late October, I booked my flight and planned to leave armed with my sketches and mood boards for Florence. When I arrived I was anxious, nervous and excited all at the same time. The first night I could barely sleep. It was exhilarating to think that I was going to create something that hopefully would be special to our shop and our customers. I couldn’t wait to get started!

That week, Cristina would pick me up at my hotel every morning and we would make our drives to Lucca and visit the design studio, the suppliers, and the factories.  We would sit for hours at a time collaborating with the modellistas to come up with the right constructions. We would know if all went well once we received our initial samples, which would take a couple of weeks to make. So, I left Italy crossing my fingers that all went well and then it was back to Seattle to await the samples.

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Lucca, the design studio, the factory

When we finally received the initial prototypes it was like opening a present! I could not wait to see how everything translated from a sketch to a 3 dimensional item. Some styles turned out great, others not so much. I refined some patterns and asked for some tweaks. Not everything always turns out the way you expect and that’s okay too. You learn to weed out what would be “nice to have”versus what you “must have”. What’s worth the time to re-visit and what should be “lascia perdere”,  Italian for “forget about it”.

So again, it was up to the manufacturers to get things right,. We were sent round two of confirmation samples to approve. We chose the styles, wrote the orders and all went into production. That’s pretty much it! So now we wait for the collection to come into the shop and online this March. We cannot wait to see what you think!

Mondays, Maggie Muses: Winter Coats

This winter has been a particularly harsh one for most, so it’s no wonder I have been obsessing about winter coats. Here are some outerwear styles I am coveting.

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Stripes are one my favorite patterns and I love the bold random stripes on this coat.

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Okay, this is techmically a vest but it looks like a coat. So sleek even makes her sneakers look chic.

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This classic black topcoat gets some edge worn with her leather leggings.

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Grey, dotty and quilted. Yes, Please!

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Besides my all black phase I am favoring this season, I really do love this blush coat.

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I think everyone should own a camel coat. This double breasted and shorter length gives it some edge.

Lucky for me spring is around the corner (or so I hope) otherwise there would be some serious damage to my credit card. I hope you have a great week and stay warm! ~ Maggie xo

Image Links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

What to Wear, Valentine’s Day Edition: H by Hudson “Mistral”

Each Wednesday we’ll answer the on-going question: “What do I wear with these?” It’s a question we get quite often here at the shop and we love giving suggestions when helping our customers. This week we feature the H by Hudson Mistral bootie.

What to Wear with H by Hudson "Mistral"

 

Only a couple more days until Valentine’s, so we thought we would style this casual H by Huson “Mistral” bootie with a more romantic feel. The rich suede color is perfect to wear with lighter pastel colors and of course denim! Pink is really hot right now for spring and this color flatters most complexions. Wear them with a pair of boyfriend jeans and a slouchy sweater or slim skinnies and a pretty blush colored blazer. Accessorize with a boho beaded cuff or a feminine scarf and you’ll be all set for your date!

Items from re-souL:

> H by Hudson “Mistral” boot in beige suede, made in Portugal.
> Jo Handbags “Zoey” in stone suede. 
> Julie Rofman beaded “Tahiti” cuff. 
> Hansel from Basel floral crew socks.

To view the other items featured along with their links as well as more outfit pairing suggestions, check out re-souL’s profile on polyvore.

What to Wear for Christmas: Him and Her Edition

For this What to Wear Wednesday, we thought it would be fun to do a Him and Her edition. Not that you have to match for Christmas, but you could complement each other’s attire at the next holiday party or family gathering. It would at least make for a nice picture, don’t you think?

What to Wear for Christmas: Hers and His
Featured re-souL items:
Her:
> “Celine” grey suede double gore booties by AA Copenhagen, made in Portugal.
> Iris Guy “Line Rivet” earrings in sterling brushed silver.
> Julie Rofman  woven beaded “Fog”cuff.
Him:
> Fiorentini and Baker black “752” harnes boot, made in Italy.
> Alessi “TXC” watch with black leather strap.

To view the other items featured along with their links as well as more outfit pairing suggestions, check out re-souL’s profile on polyvore.

Currently Coveting: The Officine Creative D482/203 Ankle Boot

Officine Creative shoes are highly coveted. They are the masters of artisan craftsmanship. Their designs, workmanship and attention to details are always top notch. By far one of the best brands in the world.  Just ask anybody in the shoe biz and they will tell you the same. We are so fortunate to have them in our shop.

Okay, I have to be fair, I should title this post “Currently UN-Coveting”.  These are my personal boots.  I do own them.  But in my defense, I coveted them for 2 seasons until they were in the shop again.  I wanted them from the moment I saw them.

These are the reasons I love my Officine’s. First of all, they are so comfortable, the leather is buttery soft. My feet feel like they are getting a hug when I wear these boots. The heel height is perfect.  I am not a heels kind of girl, I always wear flats, but these boots were made for walking! ( Sorry, I couldn’t help myself with the Nancy Sinatra reference.) Seriously, I can run around the shop all day in these. Also, I can wear them with everything but an evening gown. No joke. They look great with my skinny jeans, my slouchy pants, tailored trousers and I also wear them with tights and dresses.

These boots are timeless and will be a part of my wardrobe for many seasons to come.  You really should try these ankle boots by Officine Creative, they will be love at first sight.  ~ Maggie

Fall Trend Essential: The Ankle Boot

In seasons past, it had been all about the tall boot. Not this year! This Fall it’s all about the short ankle boot.  Ankle boots have limitless versatility for a variety of different looks.  Think of ankle boots as the alternative to a pump or a boot. They look fantastic with skirts and dresses which can be worn with tights and socks to keep you warm, and of course your skinny jeans too.  Here are some looks pulled from our Pinterest boards that we hope will give you some inspiration to try them in your own wardrobe.

Outfit Images via Humanoid, Soia & Kyo and Stylsight

ANKLE BOOTS

Inspiration 1 :  For a dressed up casual style we like this boot from Coclico, the wedge gives you a bit of lift and would pair nicely with wooly socks for a modern layered look.

Inspiration 2 :  A favorite because of its versatility, this boot from Officine Creative is smart and can go easily from day into evening. Great for the office during work hours and then switch out the sweater for a leather motorcycle jacket and you’re ready for a fun night out with friends.

Inspiration 3 : This dress would look fantastic with knit tights and our suede boot from AA Copenhagen.  A rich material but not too precious, these would look great as well with a pair of skinny cords.

Inspiration 4 :  How do you rock the slouchy pants?  Simple, wear them with this cute low bootie from Lili Mill.  They add a laid back effortless look without looking like you rolled out of bed in your sweats.

Outfit Images via Humanoid, Soia & Kyo and Stylsight, all boots available at resouL.com