FN is celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month. Observed from September 15 to October 15, the occasion recognizes the histories, cultures and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. FN invites you to follow along as we shine a light on Hispanic-American shoe designers and entrepreneurs making big waves in the fashion industry.
As a child, Andrea Gómez was constantly surrounded by fashionable women against a tropical background of vibrant landscapes and hues in the South American city of Caracas.
The Venezuelan-born shoe designer continues to use these memories of her mother, aunts and cousins, who were always impeccably dressed at family gatherings, as inspiration for her namesake footwear line. Launched in 2016 with her two sisters, Leonor Gómez and Mariela Gómez, the brand operates out of New York City and the trio continues to release shoe styles inspired by the allure of Venezuela.
“My family has always served as a big inspiration for me. Latin women are very feminine and growing up in Venezuela where the weather is just beautiful and the colors are vibrant, all those things are what continues to drive my designs,” Andrea, DKNY alum, said.
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Since the pandemic, Andrea said she has had to put a cap on her usual schedule of traveling and trunk shows. “Right now we are really focusing on our direct-to-consumer [operations] and what our customer wants from us,” she said of the current state of the business.
But even with the extra downtime, the three sisters have been hard at work releasing new styles for summer and fall that have appeared on the feet of fashion influencers such as singer Caroline Vreeland.
In addition to making chic footwear for women, Andrea Gómez also gives back through its Stepping Up initiative. For each shoe purchased, a child in Petare, Venezuela receives a backpack and a pair of shoes. The footwear for Stepping Up is made by local Venezuelan shoemakers.
“What I love is that it’s made by their own community. So we’re helping maintain their jobs and their factory as well as give the children shoes so they can go to school,” said Gómez.
With schools still closed in Venezuela and updates remaining inconsistent, areas like Petare, which is about 20 minutes from Caracas, have been hit especially hard as Internet access is either scarce or nonexistent.
“Thankfully, the lunchrooms are providing one meal a day to students in the Petare area and are open and functioning,” said Gómez on the situation. “This is a blessing to their community and we will continue working with both the student advocates and the local cobblers through this very difficult time.”
To keep up with Andrea Gómez and her brand visit andrea-gomez.com.