First we fell in love with the city-ready look of Skora, a new “natural” sneaker brand from Portland, Oregon. Then we fell in love with the shoe itself.
Since we received a pair, it is pretty much all we’ve been wearing around town, on the beach or running, to the gym, to work, to yoga. They are super comfortable and light, and they make us feel like we’re floating or walking on clouds. They feel totally natural, almost like being barefoot, only better! And that is just what the designers intended.
Skora was founded by David Sypiewski, a well-funded entrepreneur and formerly injured runner.
His shoes, like so many of the new, minimalist running shoes crowding the market today, are based on the notion that humans were designed to run shoeless, and that most running shoes overcorrect the human foot’s natural ability to adjust and function. Rather than piling up more features, more support, more cushioning and more everything, the minimalist or natural shoe designers start from the bare foot and its inherent abilities.
Skora’s first two models are based on a last that is shaped like the natural arch, and they have no height drop from heel to toe. The mid-foot hits the ground first, not the heel as with most running shoes.
In addition to loving the look of the shoes and loving the amazing feeling of wearing them, we also love their branding. The website is easy to navigate and the entire brand works. We are definitely fans. - Bill Tikos
Spotted a new men's brand we should know about? Get in touch
Spanish leather goods and women's accessories firm Malababa started in 1997 when pharmacy graduate Ana Carrasco realized she was more drawn to fashion than apothecary. She created a solid following in Madrid, then in the rest of Spain, and moved on to other markets in 2003. Malababa is now sold in more than 300 stores in Mexico, Argentina, USA, Japan, Kuwait, China and several European countries.
In Malababa pieces, there is a sense of traditional Spanish craftsmanship and handiwork. The use of natural-tone leathers and metal accents with timeless patina create a feel of value, elegance and timelessness. Purses, bags, wallets and shoes form the core of each collection, with cuffs, belts and other accessories completing the line.
Authenticity either is or isn't.
When a brand pretends to be something it is not, the result generally backfires. Like this beautiful Chrysler “Style” commercial that demonstrates that yes, Chrysler was synonymous with American style. The key word being WAS. Lesson: Even great advertising does not make uncool, cool.
Which leads us to think of bygone eras and authentic brands that are no more. Such as Benrus watches. Somehow the move to digital watches and colourful plastic timepieces took the seriousness out of watches. Is this good or bad? You decide for yourself but we are currently enamored with the 1940 Benrus Sky Chief. Real numbers, real hands, serious black or silver face, a real crown to wind it. Benrus Watch co. was founded in New York City in the 1920s by Benjamin Lazarus. Benrus was the official watch of the U.S. mail-carrying pilots of several cargo airlines. Known at its peak as the “Official Watch of Famous Airlines,” it was the official time piece of pilots at Delta, KLM, NWA and TWA. You can still find some of the authentic Sky Chiefs, and by forking out $2,400 or so, you may even be able to own one. - Bill Tikos
Tim and Fiona Slack (T&F Slack) are married to each other and to their love of creating shoes, considered “modern classics” by industry standards. Their collection gives the classic “Gibson” or “Derby” shoe shape new life when unexpected colour combinations, stitching details and fabrications are blended together.
You can choose from the perforated Punch Derby in white leather with yellow peaking beneath, or have a custom made pair to order in their Notting Hill Shop or use the simple “build your own shoe” system they’ve created within Selfridges and Liberty.
Dedicated to keeping manufacturing local, they make around 150 shoes per month in their factory where old-fashioned machinery is salvaged and customised to create their “modern classic” shoes. With so much repetition in the world of shoes, it’s so refreshing to see a unique and bespoke solution that really does draw the eye downwards! – Kate Vandermeer
Beautifully shot video of iconic blogger - Scott Schumann, aka, The Satorialist
Our favourite Holly Fulton dress so far is this "mummified" dress that's a perfect fit for Cleopatra, too. A special sculptural and graphic magic is going on in the London designer's first solo collection of Autumn/Winter 2010. Fulton's first two collections, with Fashion East, featured similar, strong lines, and Art Deco, Mackintosh and cinema-inspired pieces adorned with metal and Swarovski crystals. Fulton is a designer we will be hearing more about in the years to come. So far in 2010, she's won the Elle Style Award for New Designer, and the Young Designer of the Year Award at the Scottish Fashion Awards. - Tuija Seipell. via Fashion 156
When you think Italian fashion design, Armani, Valentino and Versace spring to mind, having paved the way for strong, bold aesthetics. Quality and tailoring is also intrinsic to the Italian sensibility. A new label that epitomises both has emerged from a 20-year strong lineage. Italian company “Paoloni Group” launched a new label “MSGM” recently with strong acceptance domestically and internationally with the likes of Harvey Nichols, Joyce, Lane Crawford, Matches and Browns plus being named as one of the best new emerging designers for Vogue Talents.
Created by and for a youthful demographic of under 35, the label has both a men’s and women’s collection. Blending comfort and function with a distinctly Italian preppy edge, the Men’s collection is fresh and modern yet combines achingly simple pieces together. The Women’s is more fashion focused with an emphasis on print and staying current to the season. Either way, this is one label to watch as they make their mark on the international fashion scene. – Kate Vandermeer