Anita Patrickson is bringing traditional craftsmanship to consumers in a way that’s new and customary at the same time. After having a pair of leather sandals handmade for her in Capri, Italy, the celebrity stylist was so inspired by the artistry that she decided to venture into her own shoemaking business.
Her brand, Amanu, delivers a custom experience that is a departure from the conventional prêt-à-porter retail model — and her designs all seek to create the perfect sandal.
“The quality is exceptional,” Patrickson said. “The sandals are beautifully made. All the materials come from Florence, Italy, and we assemble in the shop.”
Amanu’s studio opened this month in West Hollywood, Calif. Shoppers are invited to book an appointment online to come in and select from a curated range of materials, colors and styles, and create a one-of-a-kind sandal that is built in the moment by trained shoemakers. The whole process takes 30 minutes.
There are roughly 400 design possibilities to choose from, including styles such as ankle-tie flats, one- and two-strap sandals and a gladiator. The materials range from nappa leather and suede to feathers.
“We can play with embellishments, and it can evolve,” said Patrickson, noting that additions to the line will feature velvet and raffia.
The mission was to create a luxury shopping experience that is intimate and offers instant gratification — and that is affordable. Price points for the collection range from $160 to $275.
Patrickson said there are advantages to operating a made- to-order business.
“We are able to be nimble, and what’s great about this model is, if a style isn’t working, we pull it,” said the founder and CEO. “We don’t have inventory that can’t shift. We have a lot of wiggle room.”
Plus the brand is eco-friendly. Patrickson is passionate about cutting down Amanu’s carbon footprint and has ensured that the store is plastic-free.
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