The Designer of a Cult Swimwear Label Reveals the Best Shoes for a Jet-setting Life

She’s a style influencer, swimwear designer, global jetsetter — and serious shoe lover.

Oleema Miller, the creative mind and co-founder behind cult swimwear label Mikoh recently shared with FN her must-have footwear for an on-the-go, beach-to-city lifestyle.

Oleema Miller
Oleema Miller, co-founder of Mikoh
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand

My go-to brands:
“Balenciaga for hardware-driven sandals. Céline for its sneakers and fun range of colors — they’re reminiscent of my childhood surf and skate days in California. For heels, Alaïa has the most beautiful designs. Ancient Greek Sandals for a more-approachable shoe that you can wear in the mud and raw elements of nature. For showstoppers, Chanel and Manolo Blahnik just kill it. Saint Laurent and its recent pink glitter booties that I bought are incredible. I never follow trends in shoes; I try to just go with what I love.”

Ideal for my life in Hawaii:
“The shoes for Hawaii are dependent on weather. Half the time I find myself barefoot, but when I’m not, a favorite is my Céline Skate Slip On sneakers. Haleiwa on Oahu is all about that super-relaxed lifestyle. Also, it’s customary in Hawaii to take off your shoes before entering anyone’s home, so a shoe that’s easy without socks is a must.”

Celine slip-on sneakers
Celine canvas slip-on sneakers, $400; TheRealReal.com
CREDIT: Courtesy of The Real Real

Celine canvas slip-on sneakers, $400; TheRealReal.com

Travel essentials:
“I’ve learned that traveling in all-black is an essential because you don’t know the circumstance you’ll be in. For footwear, the more comfort, the better, along with an ease of taking shoes on and off. I find myself wearing a lot of Nike trainers or Adidas Stan Smiths — they’re so comfortable and light.”

Number of shoes I typically pack:
“I’m trying to get it down, but on average, 10 to 15 pairs of shoes. The adage of ‘less is more’ completely goes out the window for me. My secret is taking all of my most coveted shoes and handbags in my wheelie carry-on so they’re safe and sound. I heard a horror story once from a girlfriend who had only one Louboutin stolen from her checked baggage — only one.”

Closet I’d like to raid:
“Carrie Bradshaw’s.”

Best bespoke experience:
“In Bali. My foot is measured, and I do a drawing or sketch to show to the maker. I’ll choose my own leather, my own hardware and the shape. The price has ranged over the years; leather has gotten more expensive, so the shoe prices have also gone up. But the last pair I bought were only $25.”

My shoe-shopping secret:
“Some of the most unassuming local stores have the best treasures — like finding a pair of beautiful lace-up sandals in Greece. I love my labels, but those $2 finds are oftentimes my most favorite.”

Ancient Greek Sandals
Ancient Greek Sandals' laceup Alcyone style, $210; Revolve.com
CREDIT: Courtesy of retailer


Ancient Greek Sandals’ laceup Alcyone style, $210; Revolve.com

Sharing footwear with my sister and cofounder, Kalani:
“I’ve created a bit of a monster with Kalani. I’ve always been into fashion and shoes. Kalani over the years has also started to become fashion-obsessed. Oftentimes, we like the same shoe, so we now try to buy the same style but in different colors. More fortunate for her, Kalani is about half a shoe size smaller, so she can wear my shoes, but I can’t wear hers.”

Dream collaboration for Mikoh:
“In homage to our surfing roots, a dream collab would be with Vans. For the shoe lover in me, Balenciaga would be amazing; the label has a very fresh and young approach to design, to not take yourself too seriously — that’s the lifestyle I try to live every day.”


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