Oh, The Places You'll Go
Who buys new shoes in the middle of a pandemic? The eternal optimists in us like to believe that footwear isn't merely functional—it holds the promise of future adventures. From chic pumps made from sustainable materials, to slip-ons that fuse modernity with traditional craft, consider these handcrafted shoes by Filipino artisans as beautifully hopeful creations. Now, where do you dream of wearing these?
Lovingly handmade Marikina uppers with wooden heels handcarved by artisans from Paete make complete the unique “Solidarity” mule and “Bakawan” sandals by Risque Designs.
Detail 1: Party at the Back
Go from coffee to cocktails in inimitable style with Risque Designs' Solidarity mule and Bakawan strappy sandals. In contrast to their earlier “crazy and colorful” collections, these pieces veer toward the classic to reflect designer Tal de Guzman's evolving aesthetic, but always with an unexpected twist. Every custom order is ethically handmade by Marikina shoe artisans, with heels carved by woodcarvers from Paete, Laguna—a gorgeous fusion of contemporary and traditional craft. The “Solidarity” features genuine lambskin leather on a loafer style mule, with a heel design inspired by the walis tingting (stick-broom), while the “Bakawan” is a sleek, leg-elongating nude strappy sandal with a hand-carved heel inspired by mangroves.
Abaca slides with braided straps and crocheted slip-ons by Ai She showcase the charming provincial workmanship of Liliw, Laguna.
Detail 2: Rustic Charm
From pearl-encrusted espadrilles to funky jute wedges, Ai She always puts a contemporary spin on the traditional abaca sapatilla craft of Liliw, Laguna, a slipper-making town located south of Metro Manila. This season, it's all about handcrafted charming details on the rustic slides: “Catriona” denim mules embroidered with the sun and stars and named after our very own Miss Universe, or (seen here) date-worthy abaca slides with braided rainbow straps, and abaca slip-ons with crocheted uppers to complete your domestic diva OOTD.
Quirky, playful Tarsimoji mules by Mara Piñon have a lot of surprising, handmade details that you can only see up close.
Detail 3: Into the Wild
Slip into these Tarsimoji Mules by Mara Piñon and be transported to a whimsical wonderland! Inspired by the tiny, wide-eyed primates native to Bohol, these mules are made with genuine pigskin and raffia—handwoven abaca fibers sourced from Bohol. The eyes are digitally embroidered for an especially vivid expression, while the footbed features memory foam for comfort. Perfect for a leisurely stroll around a nature reserve (or simply, your garden).
Jute sack has never been as cool and as glamorous as this embroidered Sako Pump by Annie & Lori.
Detail 4: Sustainable Statement
When you're attending a special occasion—or if heading out your door is already cause for celebration—step into the elegant yet eye-catching Sako Pump by Annie & Lori. Recently recognized by British Vogue for designs that reflect rich Filipino cultural heritage while keeping true to their signature minimalist, chic style, Annie & Lori makes waves once again with the limited edition Sako Collection, featuring thoughtfully crafted footwear in the humble, but environmentally-friendly material jute sack. The Sako Pump is intricately handcrafted in white jute with a leather insole; the 2” heel offers graceful height, while the sun ray pattern in knitted polythread proudly takes inspiration from the Philippine flag.
Photography: Toto Labrador, Styling: Pierra Labrador
ANNIE & LORI
URL: www.stridecollectiveph.com (for pre-order)