Sometimes all you need is a head full of ideas, some beads and the living room table in your shared apartment. At least according to Parme Marin, a French expat living in New York, who initially went to business and acting school, but then started making her own jewelry with unusual materials such as bones, horsehair and horn.
“I have always been very creative, so I think I was trying to be an actress so I could really start designing in my spare time,” she said laughing. “My mum used to wear a lot of bead jewelry, so it always had to be big and bold,” she said, adding that she launched her brand in 2013 due to demand. “Friends and people started asking and this triggered something in me.”
Marin’s one-of-a-kind pieces are currently available in stores in the U.S., France, Mexico, Ivory Coast and Morocco and is now venturing into shoes, specifically sandals for summer, which was the only logic step for the self taught designer. “I lived in Morocco for 3 years and that’s also where my production is based and there you only wear open sandals, so it was obvious to me,” said Marin, who forged partnerships with local artisans and has all pieces handmade by local women.
Her proposal of six styles, available to pre-order in the brand’s website, all feature the same distinctive geometric and angular soles. “I want my sandals to be as singular as the jewelry, for people to be able to recognize them,” she noted, pointing out that her designs are for the 60-year-old chic woman that wears bold colors, but also for the 25-year-old fashion savvy customer, looking for a statement piece.
Making a statement is the model “Furry Baby,” an open toe black sandal with a big fur covered strap, which is lined with leather and retails for $253. “It’s totally for summer, but I also like the idea of wearing them with socks,” she said. “If for some people it’s more of a winter piece that would be fun and cool too.”
Citing the material itself, art deco, the 1930’s, tribal colors and outfits as main inspiration, Marin is also looking into other shapes for the colder season. “I wouldn’t do boots or anything, but I like the idea of keeping it a slide, so just closed in the front, a winter slide.”
Marin, who is also freelancing for other companies in jewelry and objects, has her eyes on Japan and Korea, markets she shied away from with jewelry, but sees real potential for her sandals. “The way they use materials, they are not scared and very avant-garde and somehow I relate to that.”
Looking into the crystal ball, she is thinking about turning her label into a lifestyle brand, due to her great passion for home décor and interior design. “The dream would be to have a huge showroom, where everything is for sale, from the coffee table to the sofa cover,” she said, but is also realistic about the future. “It’s good to dream and then see what happens.”