The designers below all have two things in common: They’re launching their second labels this spring and each collection is as good — better even — than their previous incarnations. As second-time designers, they join the ranks of talent like FN’s Designer of the Year Amina Muaddi whose eponymous line was her own second venture. Her first label was Oscar Tiye. These days, in addition to her namesake brand, Muaddi also designs the shoes for her friend Alexandre Vauthier and last year scored a gig making shoes for Rihanna’s Fenty line. As for the three labels ahead, they may have familiar names at the helm but each offers something new.
When Givenchy came a-knocking in 2015, Italian footwear designer Pamela Costantini shuttered her eponymous shoe brand to work for the line. But now she’s back with a new and completely sustainable brand IINDACO. The line is cofounded by Domitilla Rapisardi, who met Costantini when they worked together at Roberto Cavalli. With its fusion of architectural silhouettes, satin moray wraps and quirky beaded disco heels (which were a hit at the Prada Moda party during this past Paris Couture Week), it’s a blend of both girls’ personalities. As for the name, IINDACO refers to the ‘blue hour’: the period just before sunset when a woman transitions out of her daily routine. It also happily coincides with the Italian institution that is aperitivo time. The duo use only recycled fabrics and leather derived from the food industry — naturally tanned and biodegradable — and their signature blue colorant is made using leftovers from the lavender production process. As for that double ‘I’ in IINDACO, that’s a play on both duo, duality and a touch of serendipity: The founders were both born in November, the eleventh month. Look out for the e-commerce site launching Feb. 11.
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Mariela Schwarz Montiel launched Antolina two years ago, a shoe brand that supports indigenous communities in Paraguay where its fabrics are hand-woven using traditional techniques. Now, in her latest venture, she’s introducing the similarly eco-responsible Carlotha Ray. Launching today in Paris’ Le Bon Marché department store, the line of elevated, eco-friendy sandals are made in Italy with 100% natural rubber from Madagascar. Their colors are derived from rice, seaweed, flora and eggshell. The scalloping and delicate patterns running around the edges of the soles are inspired by French porcelain (the Paris-based designer lives in Limoges and her husband is involved in the town’s traditional local economy). “There were no luxurious type of beach shoes like this on the market so I wanted to created an alternative,” Montiel said. Next season look out for the slippers: eco satin made from 100% recycled plastic bottles and colored with natural dyes. “Giving back is very important,” the Carlotha Ray designer added. “When you create a brand, you need to do something good for the earth, as well.”
Since shuttering former label Charlene de Luca, trained architect Carlotta de Luca has been working as a consultant while planning her next move. And it’s a winner. Maria Luca is launching for fall ’20 in partnership with Onward Luxury Group. Tapping into the jewelry trend, one of the brand’s distinctive features is the anklet on the left foot. “You can also take it off and wear it as a necklace,” says the designer. Styles include pumps, ballet flats, boots and sandals, and feature an architectural heel shaped like an egg timer, a contemporary twist on a silhouette popular in the 1920s. The whole package has been expertly branded with insoles, details and even the shoe boxes all done in Maria Luca olive green. The line is cleverly complemented by a capsule collection of gold jewelry as well as three chic and functional bag styles, complete with olive interiors. Brand mantra? “Put your left foot forward and risk it,” because, says de Luca, “it’s only when you take risks that the best things happen.”