Designer Shoes: Embellishment

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British-born and LA-based celebrity stylist Neil Rodgers has now added shoe designer to his repertoire. And with more than a decade’s worth of experience dressing A-list stars from head to toe, you know he’s one to turn to when it comes to all things fashionable. More importantly, he understands our need for comfort without ever, compromising style. Get to know the innovative designer and completely re-think about not slipping on some high heels whenever, wherever.

Neil-Rodgers-KarlaYou’ve worked as a stylist for more than 15 years now. What made you venture into the shoe designing business? 

When putting a look together for a client, my favorite part of the process is always selecting the perfect shoe to compliment and bring together the look.  I’ve always loved the beauty, the shape, the lines and details of women’s shoes and the effect they have on the wearer in terms of posture, mood and appearance.  Their power is transformative. I wanted to create my own, more comfortable line of beautiful footwear for women, and so after studying at the Ars Sutoria School in Milan and finding the perfect factory to work with in Venice, the brand was born.

What/Who inspires your designs?

My main inspiration when I design is women. Women that are friends, contemporaries –iconic women from the past and present –some that I have met and others that I just admire.  I want to present a very modern, simple, updated version of elegance and wherever possible, combine this with increased comfort.  

You put an emphasis on comfort. How do you achieve that in a high heel?Neil-Rodgers-Linda-pump

We increased the padding in the toe bed of our closed toe styles and work with a last with a slightly roomier toe bed.  The straps are strategically placed to hold and support the foot to minimize friction on sensitive areas and we only use the highest quality lining materials –which feel great against the bare foot.  These are beautiful, high shoes and so the term ‘comfort’ is relative, that said, compared with most similar ‘high’ pumps and sandals, we perform very well in comfort tests.  

What for you, is the worst shoe trend that ever existed?

The first thing that comes to mind is the ‘sneakers with evening accessories’ trend (jewels, etc)  With the exception of the Roger Vivier ones, which I think work, I just don’t think they ever looked right.

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Favorite shoe trend/style?

I like clean, very modern yet feminine lines. Chic!  Chic is always on trend.Neil-Rodgers-Kristin-Sandal

Who would you like to see wearing your shoes?

I would love to see Charlize Theron in a pair of our Stella sandals (she does already own a pair)

Which celebrity do you think has the best shoe style?

Sarah Paulson has a pretty good shoe game going on.

Name three styles of shoes that every woman should own.

Classic, high, pointy pump.  Practical everyday pointy flats.  Strappy, high, barely there sandal.

Summer-2017-shoes Raffia-strappy-pump

Neil-Rodgers-PhoebeWhat is the inspiration behind your Spring/Summer collection?

I took a vacation to the Hawaiian Island of Kauai and was taken aback by the color and beauty in nature there. The flowers and plants, the birds, the landscape.  Natural beauty.

Describe the perfect (non-dress) outfit to go with a pair of Petras.

Petra is a versatile style.  Dress up with feminine, cropped, wide leg pants or down with worn in, cuffed, calf length denim.

Shop the latest spring/summer collection directly at NeilJRodgers.com. Make sure to follow NJR on Facebook and Instagram for more shoe candy!

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About the author: Romina Tobias is a freelance fashion and lifestyle writer who is also a hopeless shoe-addict. She thinks her 5’4″ height and her love for long walks make her deserving of all the stilettos, pumps, sandals and ballet flats in the world. If only the cupcakes she expertly bakes can be traded in for a new pair (or two, or hopefully, more). 

Oscar-Tiye-Antoinette-Ruffle-Sandals

Oscar Tiye Antoinette sandals | 115mm/4.5″ heel | shop at Farfetch

We love the mix of materials used on this playful sandal from the Spring ’17 collection by Oscar Tiye. They feature a light denim pleated ruffle toe accent and cuff, black leather trim, adjustable ankle-strap, covered slim stiletto and signature magenta leather insole. Antoinette is also carried in disco silver glitter, half sizes are available.

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Aquazzura Tropicana sandals | 105mm/4.1″ heel | shop in blue at FarFetch & Bergdorf Goodman

When Aquazzura launched we went crazy for the collection, the signature Amazon sandal was a must-have. Designer Edgardo Osorio definitely found his niche, making “sensible shoes sexy” , the styles are solid every season and FUN.

We’re crushing on the newest Tropicana sandal available in three colors; paradise pink, royal blue and black suede. They feature a playfully embellished knit & beaded baubles, pom pom tassels and self-tie long wrap-around ankle straps. Half sizes are available.

Shop them in pink at Saks Fifth Avenue & MyTheresa, blue at FarFetch and Bergdorf Goodman and black at Neiman Marcus.

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Art is brought to your feet in the latest collection of Yevrah-logoYevrah designers Jason Harvey and Erwin Sweetwine.

A six-year in the making concept that’s finally been brought to life with Elemental; a collection filled with boots, pumps and a very special flat, that takes women back to the basics on a journey of style, class, and art.

Yevrah-shoesWe interviewed the Atlanta-based designers to learn about the influence, inspiration of this up-and-coming brand.

> How was Yevrah born? What was is that made you get into the industry of women’s shoe?

Jason: We always just had that love and respect for one another on campus during college. The genuine relationship was formed when we both ran against one another in a Mr. Freshman pageant. The running joke has Erwin won Mr. Freshman and I became 1st runner up! It was such a great experience.

I’ve been playing around with footwear for about six years now. My wife, a model since 13 now 23, is also an artist who helped guide me in the world of designing. I was persistent and had great ideas but they were not wearable ideas. As time went along, the designs began to mature thus the brand finally came to fruition late 2016.

> I see this collection was heavily influenced by nature. What I like the most about it is that you were able to take this concept and make it unique. As designers, how were you able to achieve this?

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Erwin: Designing is an intricate process. With Jason being such an artistic person, we often have scaled down conceptual designs into wearable fashion. Honestly, that is what makes this experience so rewarding and fun. From choosing the materials to fitting and finalizing the collections, each step of the way required a lot of trial and error but seeing the collection manifest into Elemental was humbling.

Jason: Many cannot understand or explain what is called a gift at times. I’m just blessed with the ability to see things that are born from nothing. As a designer, it can be the most random things at times that will spark your imagination. A shadow can hit a branch in a specific way, and in my mind, I then spot a design and immediately get inspired.

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> The collection is composed of 10 pieces that consist of pumps and boots, but amongst them is one flat, that I can say speaks for itself. It’s this great harmony of minimalistic, casual, elegant and I would dare to say even sporty. How did this particular style come into play? What inspired you in creating this shoe?

Stiletto-Pumps-YevrahErwin: Each design in the Elemental collection is intentional. The line really speaks to the women we hope will experience the brand. Jason constantly mentioned that he really loves the drawstring on shoes, so this incorporated in both the flat and mule gives a sporty yet edgy look. The style is very niche and versatile, and we know that women look for unique pieces to incorporate into their wardrobe.

Jason: Women are powerful and daring…but even the daring beauties at times want to level style out with comfort. That is how the Diver flat was born. I envisioned the woman to be chic and comfortable unlike its sister style which is greater in height.

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> You’re both artists and this is a big part of your brand’s identity, so much so that you participated in the 2016 Art Basel in Miami, one of the biggest art shows in the country. Your website is called Art of Yevrah. What were some of the biggest artistic influences while designing the line?

Erwin: We envisioned the brand being a form of expression just like art. We started with a blank canvas. We literally had no experience in footwear. Partnering with Jason allowed the both of us to leverage our life experiences and to develop a brand that is hopefully here for many more years to come. Our inspiration is everyday people who enjoy being daring and different.

Jason: Life inspires me.. Art is life.. Art is expression, freedom.. with that being said- Power also comes into play with this. You feel indestructible when putting the brush into play. The canvas is empowering and life changing with every piece that you choose to create. It’s exhilarating but most importantly it heals.

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> On your website, you state that your shoes incorporate unconventional materials, what’s the materials that take the biggest role in the confection of your shoes? That material that you believe is what sets you apart?

Erwin: The cork material is the most unconventional, complex materials to use when designing shoes. The material we used is actually imported from Portugal. A lot of people including our manufacturer said it sucks a risk using this material. We said: “Let’s do it! We have to make it work.” And we did! Jason and I are more than excited about the construction and quality of the shoes made of cork in this collection.

Embossed-pumps-YevrahJason: I would say cork… It’s tricky to use this kind of material at times because it is a dry material. It does not always agree with what you want it to do. You just don’t find many brands out here that are willing to risk this type of production.

> For now, your main focus is women’s line. Can we expect a men’s shoe line in the future?

Jason: For sure! It gets stressful sometimes not being able to wear all of this beautiful work! Yevrah is so full time at the moment I just cannot commit to creating the men’s line yet but, very soon. The gentleman will not be disappointed.

Erwin: Most definitely! We can’t wait to expand into the world of men’s footwear. As of right now, we don’t have an estimated time for when that will release but we have heavily considered it and know that is the direction we would like to move in.

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Shop the latest Yevrah collection on their website. Make sure to follow them on Instagram and Facebook for more shoe candy, photos and updates!

Guest post and interview written by the lovely Natalia Rodriguez from Veneci Swimwear.

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Casadei pink “Blade” pumps | 120mm/4.7″ heel | shop at LuisaViaRoma and Casadei

The signature Casadei “Blade” pump gets another makeover for Spring 2017 and we can’t look away. We adore the hot pink and fiery orange combination on this batik-printed glossy patent leather. This standout is finished with a black lacquered covered signature stiletto, sleek pointed-toe and black insole. Half sizes are available.

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Sophia Webster Copacabana sandals | 100mm/4″ heel | shop at Neiman Marcus

You can always count on Sophia to bring you spicy shoes season after season. For Resort 2017 she drew inspiration from Brazil (where her shoes are produced) and the beautiful beaches of Rio.

We love this festive Copa sandal featuring multicolor leather cord straps, long wrap-around laces, knotted design at the front and cylinder cork covered heel. Half sizes are available and you can also find them in a 3″ style.

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Christian Louboutin Hot Jeanbi lace pump | 100mm | shop at Neiman Marcus, Barneys and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Bringing bringing boudoir outside of the dressing room for Spring 2016, Christian Louboutin embellishes this sexy lingerie-inspired Hot Jeanbi d’Orsay pump with two black garter straps. Ooh la la! They also feature delicate black floral lace, sheer toe, piped patent leather trim, black leather covered heel and signature red sole. Half sizes are available.

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Paula Cademartori Lotus sandals | 115mm/4.5″ heel | shop on sale at Matches, Moda Operandi and FarFetch.

We’re crazy for these signature Lotus sandals by delightfully quirky Italian-Brazilian desgner Paula Cademartori. Gaining popularity for her whimsical crossbody bags, her footwear collection lends playful pop art for your feet too.

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Lotus features an anguled block heel, corset lace-up front design, long wrap-around leather laces and colorful fanned out design wrapping around the heel. Half sizes are available and we’re equally in love with this multicolor style:

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Lotus graffiti mutlicolor leather sandals with red suede details | shop on sale at FarFetch

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Alexander McQueen Obsession ankle-cuff sandals | now on sale at Neiman Marcus

Neiman Marcus launched their holiday-ready sale with 40% off designer discounts. We spotted these glamorous Obsession sandals by Alexander McQueen featuring black leather, mirrored leather covered platform & heel breast with signature embroidered pearl & crystal charms including an eye, stars and lips.

Half sizes are available and you can also find coordinating bags on sale from the same collection.

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net-a-porter-sale-2016

Without a doubt one of the best sales of the year, Net-A-Porter’s designer end-of-season sale is not to be missed and IT’S HERE! Shop must-have designer goodies up to 50% off for a limited time.

Also enjoy an additional 20% off at checkout with code SALE20 on select items labeled “Sale Must- Have”.

Here’s our pick of the shoes you want to snag before they’re gone:

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Sophia Webster Yasmina Pom Pom embellished sandals; 30% discount at Net-A-Porter.

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Gianvito Rossi red silk sandal fringe ankle cuff sandals; 50% discount at Net-A-Porter.

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Sophia Webster Mila studded leather sandals; 30% discount at Net-A-Porter.

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Jimmy Choo Mitsu fringed paneled satin ankle boots; 30% discount at Net-A-Porter.

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Laurence Dacade Pete embroidered velvet ankle boots; 30% discount at Net-A-Porter.

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Gianvito Rossi Regalia embroidered satin sandals; 50% discount at Net-A-Porter.

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Gianvito Rossi 85mm leopard-print calf hair pumps; 50% discount at Net-A-Porter.

aquazzura-poppy-delevingne-midnight-metallic-leather-sandals

Aquazzura + Poppy Delevingne Midnight metallic leather sandals; 50% discount at Net-A-Porter.

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Aquazzura Pina Colada appliquéd suede sandals; 50% discount at Net-A-Porter.

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Aquazzura Rasputine embellished suede over-the-knee boots; 50% discount at Net-A-Porter.