Elina Linardaki, the Athens, Greece-based designer, has been expanding her footwear business internationally over the past year, having gained significant momentum around the label’s signature embellished leather sandals.
The lace-up style sandals are hand-crafted in Greece and are embellished with charms, pom-poms and semi-precious stones.
The bohemian aesthetic of the style makes it a popular option for consumers who are shopping for vacationwear. Following their launch in Greece in the summer of 2014, they instantly became a trend among locals, while the surge in interest across the globe has been largely fueled by social media.
The vibrant colors and playful embellishments of the sandals make the style ideal for visual platforms such as Instagram, and the increasing amount of imagery being shared, showing customers wearing the sandals in exotic locations while on vacation, has helped the business to grow internationally.
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“Social media skyrocketed our business. Instagram in particular has been extremely helpful as customers shared photos and their views on the product, helping to spread awareness for our brand,” explained Linardaki.
The brand, which currently has 53,800 Instagram followers, is now stocked on Shopbop, Moda Operandi, Matches Fashion, Revolve, Harvey Nichols, Avenue 32 and Bergdorf Goodman, among others.
Prices for the sandals range from $169-$276.
“We have had a strong response to the launch of Elina Linardaki this season, our customers love the contemporary twist on the traditional Greek sandal. Beautifully hand-crafted in Athens using the finest leather and the best raw materials, and adorned with bright charms and fringed laces. Each piece is an original work of art,” said Natalie Kingham, buying director at Matchesfashion.com.
Linardaki has been a jewelry designer in Athens since 2006 and decided to utilize her skills in jewelry to launch her first footwear collection: “I noticed that jewelry and footwear are very rarely combined, especially when it comes to sandals, so I decided to launch a collection experimenting with the use of a lot of semi precious stones, crystals and macramé fabrics.”
Her native Greece, as well as an array of Oriental references and the vibrant energy of Morocco, inform the designer’s aesthetic.
Craftsmanship also plays a key role. The sandals are made using leather sourced from Crete and hand-embellished by three teams of local craftsmen, which means that every pair is unique. Linadraki explained that she tried to maintain the same level of quality as the demand for the product increases.
“Our business grew really fast so we had to hire more people who could make sandals in big quantities. However, even though everything happened in the blink of an eye, we always took care to choose the right leather types and materials used to decorate the sandals. Each and every pair is unique and very carefully crafted,” added the designer.
For the next season’s collections, Linardaki will experiment with different leathers and colors in order to widen the label’s offer but will continue to focus on footwear with no immediate plans to add new categories.