This Brand’s Super-Luxe Made-in-Italy Loafers Take 50 Hours to Make

Fayina Fridman has on-the-go women in mind. After all, she’s been an industrious woman herself for her entire, varied career.

After studying and working in international law, the Russian native transitioned into the interior design field. “It was a very great experience to play with materials and create a lifestyle and space,” she told FN. That led her in 2015 to create her Bougeotte fashion brand that aims to infuse quality craftsmanship into wearable objects.

Her first task was to develop the perfect travel shoe: a loafer. “It’s just a simple shoe, but behind it is one and a half years of studying the shape, of making this comfortable,” said the founder.

Bougeotte loafers are handmade in Milan and come in a range of colors and ultraluxe materials including exotic skins, with unique design details such as embroidery and a splatter technique inspired by Jackson Pollock. Prices range from $695 to $2,300, and each pair takes around 50 hours to complete. “If you compare it to any other high brand, their [shoes take] like six hours maximum on the most difficult styles,” said Fridman.

Despite its niche focus, Bougeotte has generated ample attention among retailers and tastemakers. The line was picked up by Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus last fall and also is carried by MyTheresa.com, Moda Operandi and Boon the Shop in South Korea. Among its fans, it counts high-level influencers Leandra Medine, Eva Chen, Jessica Joffe, Caroline Issa and Margherita Missoni, who often posts about the brand on Instagram.

Coming up this spring, the brand will expand to include more women’s silhouettes, including a slide, pointy ballet flat, slingback and a flat boot. And for fall ’19, Fridman will introduce her first loafer styles for men, starting at $895.

But the designer said there is one object she will never make: a high heel.

“[It doesn’t fit] our philosophy,” she said. “We do shoes for everyday life, for comfort. High heels are a totally different market. We would like now to concentrate on a day shoe and just make it perfect.”

With reporting from Shannon Adducci

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