Mara & Mine to Launch Full Collection

Mara & Mine may be a new label, but the brand already has expansion in the works.

The Los Angeles-based footwear firm, which launched for fall ’12 with a single skeleton-themed smoking slipper (set to hit retail in November), will debut a full line of leather and fabric sandals and slip-ons for spring ’13. Price points range from $260 to $480, and the label is targeting high-end department stores and select boutiques. The footwear also will sell on the brand’s e-commerce site, which is scheduled to go live in November. Spring styles deliver in March.

The expanded collection consists of flats, and the label’s founders, Tamie Ingham and Jasmine Yarbrough, said that a low construction is core to the brand. Ingham worked as a stylist for more than five years before joining friend and longtime model Yarbrough to launch Mara & Mine, named for the founders’ childhood monikers. This is their first foray into footwear.

“Our collection is inspired by our travels,” noted Ingham, who, like Yarbrough, is originally from Australia. “We [came up with the idea for Mara & Mine] when we were on the Amalfi Coast. We were inspired by the European flair and effortless style of European women. They were all wearing chic flats — no heels — and we wanted to incorporate that style into our own line.”

Mexican culture also factors into the spring collection, as some of the styles feature skeleton themes discovered on a trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Ingham and Yarbrough design each embellishment and work with a metalsmith to create the pieces. Other references to the country also include patterns derived from traditional Mexican textiles. “A lot of people are drawn to skulls [on footwear], but this [take] is unique,” said Ingham. “It is edgy with feminine. Skeletons in Mexico also represent life, not death, so we liked that.”

Leathers are sourced in Italy, Spain and Los Angeles, and the shoes are manufactured in Los Angeles. “We wanted everything to be handmade and good quality, so it was easier for us to oversee the process [at a domestic factory],” Yarbrough said. “We are very involved with the production process.”

As for future goals, Yarbrough said she and her partner want Mara & Mine to be a global brand and likely will introduce other casual styles, such as espadrilles and boots, in future seasons.

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