When it comes to shoes and handbags, I think of myself as somewhat of an expert on the subject with a closet that would make even Carrie Bradshaw blush. My obsession with shoes started in college when I realized that women have the luxury to be more playful with their persona, in large part due to the huge selection of clothes and accessories available to us. Men do not have the same options when it comes to style, with Pumas and Kenneth Cole in style for the past ten years. Theoretically in search of the female counterpart to a classic but cool style, I scoured the globe for that one perfect pair because surely in our sea of selections, something has got to be outstanding.
Armed with a list of recommended boutiques, department stores, showrooms and even a factory, I went to Europe and our deemed capital of fashion, New York City. Three weeks later, I returned empty-handed, feeling somewhat self-defeated and definitely exhausted. That’ s not to say there weren’t a few designers that caught my eye but each had their own draw back—too much pinching from rough leather, an over-sized jewel to compensate for the mediocre style, a displaced cushion that lurched you forward at first step—it was always something.
Over lunch back home in LA, I’m complaining about my twist and turns in heels to my sister and suddenly, catch a glimpse of her perfectly pedicured, pudgy toes and I’m dumb-founded at what I see. She was wearing bronze colored flip flops with a peace charm accent and studded brass detailing along the tongue. They must have been comfortable too as she was approaching her third trimester of pregnancy. I excitedly rush through lunch and bee-line over to the boutique that my sister recommended to me. An hour later, I am standing in the store, wearing the same sandals as my sister, with a liter of shoe boxes stacked up around me. The line, Libertas Designs, is relatively well known amongst the LA fashion set for her rocker-esque sandals. Like most things in life, the beauty is in the details and the buttery soft leather is what particularly stood out to me as irresistible. Even better, the shoes are meant to coordinate with a matching collection of handbags. Recognizing a good deal to be had, I bought one handbag and two different styles of shoes to match. At long last, I finally felt satisfied, and ready for a new mission!
Between the glossies and red carpet, it’s natural for fashion-savvy ladies to lust after a pair of sparkly peep-toe Manolos and/or crave the stacked “high” that only a pair of Loubutins can provide. But the $700 price tag—which after taxes and a nice pedicure looks more like $800—is decreasingly accessible and in my opinion, worth the hype in this slumping economy. So for those who want to stand out but not break the bank, check out Cali’s new gal in town, Libertas Designs.