Moc Up
Fashionable feet are slipping into handmade moccasins
Style / 24 Aug 2011
Once the footwear of choice among those whose wardrobes came from head shops before tie-dye and caftans were chic, Minnetonka moccasins remain a gypster standard. And while the heritage brand may be a ubiquitous complement to formerly countercultural long hemlines, the authentically fashion forward have not abandoned the moccasin altogether. Rather, in keeping with the obsession for all things artisanal, they’ve merely moved on to handmade versions.
Rickard Guy Handmade
: Artist Daniel McRorie has worn many hats in his life (actor, orthopedic technician, “crusty little punk”), but it was a chance encounter with a Help Wanted sign in the window of a mall shoe repair shop that ultimately led him to his current profession as a cobbler. Though he does still fix the occasional broken heel in his Brooklyn studio, the bulk of his work entails crafting custom footwear, including oxfords, bowlers shoes and, yes, moccasins. So popular have his stylistic moccasins become that he was tapped by Manhattan lifestyle emporium Love Adorned to spend every weekend this month in the store taking measurements for moccasin orders.
Manimal
: Manimal designer Kristen Lombardi, a native New Englander, started her line in 2004 after an inspiring first visit to the U.S. Southwest. The item that launched it all? A pair of moccasins that she made by following a tutorial in a Boy Scout handbook. Seven years later, the Manimal collection includes fourstyles of moccasins as well as other Native American-imbued accessories like earrings, bolo ties and pouch necklaces. Most of the line, which is handmade by a team of three artisans, is constructed of suede and leather, the scraps of which are repurposed for other Manimal items, like this neon-accented pouch belt crafted for Of a Kind.
Beatrice Valenzuela
: Angeleno Beatrice Valenzuela is a true renaissance woman. A fixture in the local fashion scene, she’s both a stylist and hairdresser. But the hat that she is perhaps most well-known for wearing is that of a shoe designer. Offering a comfortable alternative to the eyesores typically worn by residents of her city, her line is handmade with surgical-like precision by an artisan pal in her hometown of Mexico City. Among the lineup of hand-stitched kicks, all of which are composed of leather remnants and leftover rubber, are these booties—which, unlike mass-produced moccasins, are far too exquisite to ever wear to a dusty music festival.
©The Intelligence Group