Why Celebrity-Favorite Shoe Brand Freda Salvador Has Gone Bicoastal

Freda Salvador co-founders Megan Papay and Cristina Paloma-Nelson are expanding their California-based brand to a new set of consumers: New Yorkers. The women’s label, known for its handcrafted, made-in-Spain footwear, opened a shop in New York’s Nolita neighborhood in September. It also has branded boutiques in L.A. and San Francisco, as well as wholesale accounts and an e-commerce site. 

Papay said the firm had good reason to enter the Big Apple. “California is our home, but we are seeing so much interest from New York. I wanted to get it in there and finish out the year really strong, as fall is our strongest season,” she said.

While wholesale has been part to the Freda Salvador business since its launch in 2012, the founders are focused more on a direct-to-consumer approach. “We were seeing a disconnect from our brand at market [and would] find our story wasn’t being told,” Papay said. “Now we are being more strategic with wholesale and partnering with those who are taking the time to get to know us.” One major new addition to its list of partners is Nordstrom.com.

When it comes to its core assortment of boots and loafers, Freda Salvador continues to emphasize comfort as part of its fundamental DNA. “We received comment after comment from consumers saying these were shoes that made them feel invincible and confident, and that’s how we designed them,” Papay said.

Gigi Hadid, Alberta Ferretti, Freda Salvador
Gigi Hadid wears an Alberta Ferretti dress and Freda Salvador shoes.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

The label has garnered celebrity fans such as Gigi Hadid and Kaia Gerber. But for holiday ’18, Freda Salvador is spotlighting everyday women in a campaign starring the designers’ friends and colleagues. “It’s women supporting women, it’s inclusive, and it’s the message that everyone is perfect in every color, shape and size,” said Papay.

For spring ’19, the co-founders will explore new territory by introducing more sandals and espadrilles, breaking into a lower price of under $300.

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