Since launching Newbark in 2009 with the chicest slipper flats, sisters Marjan and Maryam Malakpour have proudly embossed their soles with “Handmade in Los Angeles.” Since then, they have expanded to include boots, loafers and slides worthy of their rock-star clientele.
Marjan and Maryam also style Cher and Keith Richards, respectively, when not making shoes.
How has L.A.’s fashion scene morphed?
Maryam: “When we started, we were told that a certain luxury customer would only want her shoes made in Italy. But attitudes have changed.”
Marjan: “We aim to become the Los Angeles Hermès with an Iranian spirit.”
What are your shoe styling secrets?
Maryam: “Marjan started doing fishnets with ripped jeans and loafers, which I think is such a cool look. It’s classy but with sex appeal.”
How does your Iranian upbringing inspire your work?
Maryam: “Iran in the late Sixties and early Seventies was pretty incredible.”
Marjan: “The women were super-stylish and very progressive.”