WORDS BY NATALIE YIASSOUMI
The new label is offering shoes designed by some of fashion’s favorite tastemakers and crafted in artisanal Italian factories.
The next exciting shoe brand to add to your feed is Italy-based Ilio Smeraldo. And it’s worth your attention because it has a brand new concept to offer: Instead of going the traditional way with big, seasonal collections and an overwhelming amount of new product, the up-and-coming label will be offering small capsules, featuring shoes created in collaboration with rising and established fashion influencers.
For its first collection, the brand tapped seven women and joined creative forces to help them design their dream shoe. The overriding theme was neutral colors and lots of trendy gold chains, which made room for many different interpretations: Personal shopper and influencer Bettina Looney designed a suede black pump embellished with a thick, Nineties-inspired gold chain; Grece Ghanem, a model and content creator in her fifties, created a rugged-soled combat boot; while Tylynn Nguyen, a lingerie designer and minimalist aficionado, wanted to design the “perfect flat boot” which came in the form of a square-toe, chain-embellished style made of supple leather.
Other creators who participated in the launch include Mija Flatau who created a spiral leather sandal that has a whiff of Bottega; Sophia Roe who favored a cowboy-style heeled boot; Ilenia Thoma who opted for stretch-leather Western-inspired ankle boots; and Géraldine Boublil, better know as @erinoffduty, who designed a knee-high suede boot featuring a chic curved heel.
The shoes are all made in artisanal factories in Florence using locally sourced materials. You can actually watch the process of the artisans sewing leather onto boots or adding chains on the backs of straps, throughout the brand’s stories.
Another fun detail to note: Each shoe features an emerald on its sole, a nod to its name which is Italian for emerald jewel.
The concept seems to be a great melding of fashion’s buzzy, social-media driven scene with artisanal quality and a slower way of consuming. So it’s definitely worth adding to your feed to see its sleek, modernist vision come to life and to stay up-to-date with the new collaborators it will be bringing on board each season.
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