Posts in Shoes
Why you should buy locally-made shoes

I only started to appreciate, and I mean really appreciate locally-made shoes when I started working for a Pinoy brand that makes them. I'm writing this just to share my thoughts and what I've learned (and still keep learning) from the experience. :) 

It was in the mid-90s when the influx of China footwear killed off a good chunk of the local shoe industry. Fact is, China shoes are cheaper and faster to make. Shoe factories in the Philippines simply can't keep up. It's economics, and everyone just dealt with it as best they could.

However, by mid-2000, things started looking up for local shoemakers. Consumers realized that buying mass-produced, imported shoes (usually) meant a reduction in product quality and an appalling tendency to have exactly the  same thing as everyone else. Now that's not necessarily a bad thing. I mean, if you pay dirt cheap for a pair of shoes, you really can't expect much.

 

But people wanted to expect much. They didn't mind paying more if it meant having something fairly special in terms of quality, comfort, and design. It was around that time when small local brands started popping up to make great shoes at nice prices. They're still more expensive compared to China/ Bangkok/ Korea re-branded shoes, but they are definitely more competitive.

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Sebago x Ronnie Fieg Collection

After visiting the Sebago store in Rockwell, I excitedly showed my friends what I got. "But I can't see you wearing them!" they said. Haha. Well, I admit that my style verges on the semi-formal, but the truth is I only reserve that look for work functions. You should see me at the grocery. I'm all about shorts and t-shirts that I wear until they crumble.

So anyway, yes, I paid a visit to the Sebago store in Rockwell last Thursday. They kindly invited me to pick a new pair for myself - totally out of the blue! I wasn't expecting such a nice gift from them, but hey, I'm just thankful. You know I have loved their boat shoes ever since I got my first one two years ago.

It was my first time to check out the brand's Artisan-concept store. It's a small space, but you can see that they maximized the one wall they had. Dramatic lighting, a faded brick wall, and leather-wrapped shelves added a homey yet sophisticated feel to the place.

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Cocorose London: Foldable flats take a turn for the luxe

Out of the tons of foldable flats out in the market, which one should you choose? They're all comfortable and relatively durable in spite of their bendy properties. They all look pretty good too - good enough to wear by themselves instead of just first aid for high heel-caused sore feet. I think there are two things you should look for: how thick and springy the sole is and how convenient the pouch is.

Yes, the pouch matters. So much. I hate having to jam the foldable flats inside a too-small pouch while touching the dirty soles, and I also dislike having to bring a separate bag for my high heels. Thankfully, Cocorose London has got the perfect pouch for both their foldable flats and my heels!

The pouch is very roomy and fits the flats with no trouble. It also comes with a detachable satin bag for the shoes. How cool is that?

Oh but why am I just raving about the pouch? Check out the foldable flats, they are lovely.

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Snaps the fashion blogger

Hi, I'm Snaps. Today I'm going to show you some of Liz's new shoes. She was taking pictures of them a while ago, but I thought it's preposterous that she's not taking pictures of me, so I sat beside the shoes and did her the honor of having me as a model. 

You like? The first pair is from Ferretti. Liz bought them on her way to a meeting because she was wearing crummy flats. She told me that she loved the electric purple-blue color but it was really the lightness of the wooden heel that won her heart.

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The connection between Skechers and Imelda Marcos

If you are about my age then you know that Skechers was The Cool Thing To Wear when we were in elementary. I used to dream about owning those platform rubber shoes back then! Remember the heeled rubber shoes? Those were at the top of my list too. But I was just a student then and my mom didn't believe in high rubber shoes, so I could only dream.

Seriously, I had an obsession with Skechers when I was a kid. That's why when the brand asked me to visit a store and to pick my own shoes, I immediately said yes. I normally don't write about sporty brands like this but I thought I'd make an exception for something that was an inspiration during my childhood.

And so, here I have a virtual tour of the big Skechers store in Market Market, The Fort! Read after the jump to see the brand's latest selections and of course, what I took home with me.

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Yosi Samra: First aid for your feet

Last Thursday was an extra busy day for me. I speedwalked between Greenbelt to Glorietta for four different meetings all spaced an hour apart! I was thinking of wearing flats, but since the meetings require me to be presentable, I had to wear high heels. Call it vanity but I call it survival. Lol. Good thing I had a magic pouch with me.

Yup, foldable flats! These are from Yosi Samra, an international brand that just recently landed in the Philippines. Celebs like Anne Hathaway, Hayden Panettiere, Nicole Scherzinger, Carmen Electra and the uber-stylish Sarah Jessica Parker, have all been spotted wearing a pair.

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Is that your bikini or your skin?

Have you watched No Other Woman yet? You should! It's fun and it's funny. I watched it by myself a couple of weeks back and IT IS WILD. I felt a little strange chuckling to myself whenever the immortal lines are uttered by the characters, but hell, the whole experience was worth it.

One of the memorable lines there was spoken by Cristine Reyes' character to Anne Curtis (the "other woman"). Background: Anne was lounging by the pool in her snakeskin bikini. After exchanging barbs, Cristine asks with her fight face on, "Bikini mo ba yan? O balat mo? (Is that your bikini? Or is that your skin?)". LOL!

 

Anyway, that's what I was thinking of when I bought these new pumps from Ferretti. It's actually our best-selling design but I've never tried it on...until yesterday. It felt so nice on my feet. Also, with the faux white snakeskin + camel suede combination, I was sold!

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Sebago Felucca Lace in Denim Blue

I promised I'd show you what I took home from Sebago, and here it is! It's rather predictable of me really, but I fell in love with the Felucca Lace design (P3,999) when I saw it on the shop window waaay before Sebago invited me to drop by. I really wanted to get the Yellow one, but unfortunately their smallest available size, 6, is rather large on me. So I got the Denim Blue version in size 5.

I regretted it at first. Size five felt too small; it was an effort to walk in them. However, I knew that Sebago shoes loosened and softened over time (they're 100% leather), so I just broke them in by walking short distances before finally wearing them out. Now they're super comfortable and hug my feet nicely!

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Why Sebago?

Remember my visit to Sebago last year? That was one of my favorite features because the pink Sebago Docksides I took home then ended up being one of my best shoes. After more than a year of using them whenever I'm not in heels, they're still in great condition, albeit a little dirty.

Take note ha, I've walked them in filthy floods and extremely hot weather where even asphalt fillings would melt. They're still true and totally worth the price! Count me a fan. So when Sebago asked me to visit them again, I wasted no time. Check out some of their new designs:

Felucca Lace

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The Nylite Project

A few weeks ago, Tretorn asked me if I wanted to participate in an international campaign called The Nylite Project. The rules were simple: they'd send me a pair of Tretorn Nylites then I am to wear it my way. Truth be told I'm not into sneakers, but I'm tickled pink by the concept of incorporating a vintage classic in my girly-preppy-sleek wardrobe.

I remember my mom wearing these exact same Tretorns in the early 90's with high rolled pants and an oversized tucked-in shirt. I'm not sure, but I may have also had a green version of these for my PE classes. LOL! Those were the days of gray cotton shorts and school-printed tees, jackstones, Pogs, and Chinese Garter. Nostalgia: commence.

Anyway, here's the outfit I came up with my new old Nylites. I got the dress and shades from Forever 21, but it was only when I got home that I realized that they look like soulmates together.

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Sky blue Parfois heels

I first laid eyes on these Parfois platforms last May, when I became their stylist for the day. I found the shoes a bit pricey though at P2,280, and besides, I was in an accessories craze at that time. 

Good thing I waited! Last Wednesday, I was in Megamall running errands. I decided to drop by Parfois because of the screaming 70% off sale signs, and while walking inside, I was muttering in my head "please be on sale pleasebeonsale pleasebeonsale". It was! I got the shoes for a little over P1,500! 

Thrifted secretary blouse/ Forever 21 embroidered skirt/ Parfois bracelet/ Naccara majorica pearl cocktail ring

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Burlington Biofresh Flexigel and Sofigel foot cushions

I LOVE that a lot of women these days have taken to wearing high heels. Five years ago, did you see females here in the Philippines wearing three to five-inch monsters in the street - outside of fashion magazines? An even better question is, did you see major department stores proudly featuring their highest heels in their displays instead of comfy flats and sandals? No and no. Stylish high heels are a phenomenon that Filipinas have just recently embraced. I love the implications.

For one, this means that we women are more comfortable about standing out instead of being part of the herd. It means we're a little more liberated about our sexuality, discounting the medieval notion that high heels are only for prostitutes. In short, I think that women in high heels feel more empowered and are literally (also figuratively) standing tall. 

This is not to say that women who prefer flats are not empowered, that's too simplistic. It may come down to a matter of comfort, lack of occasion, or some other excuse. But if the only reason you don't have good high heels is fear, then I think it will do you good to finally break out and try it for a change. You'll feel better about yourself and, I suspect, feel a little more beautiful than you already are. ;)

Well, that went on longer than expected! I actually want to talk about Burlington's Biofresh Flexfigel and Sofigel pads! These godsends make women's life easier by padding our pretty shoes with gel inserts so that our feet won't hurt. Simple idea, but an incredibly useful. It's not a new concept but I do like that the pads are affordable and, from what I've tried, quite durable. 

So what's the diference between Biofresh Flexigel and Sofigel?

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Haul: Ferretti and Forever 21

You know, my salary just goes back to my boss because I end up buying her shoes anyway! :P I do have an employee discount (20%) but at the end of the day it's still my own money I spend. So if you love shoes, take my advice: don't work for a shoe brand that sells great stuff! (Loljk)

Anyway, I got a couple of new pairs from Ferretti last Wednesday. Both were love at first sight for me so I had to get them asap. I knew (doi) that all designs come in very limited quantities so I didn't want to leave anything to chance. 

 

Exhibit A: gunmetal woven flats with a ribbon (P999). Self explanatory. Major win. I like how sophisticated the design is! I almost got the silver version, but I opted for a toned-down gunmetal instead.

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Friday rush and new arrivals at Ferrett

Here's what I wore to a quick shopping trip last Friday! It's quite no-nonsense since I didn't have a lot of time to go around (was trying to avoid the weekend rush hour traffic!). I was in the mood to buy something since I figured I won't be able to have much fun. I'll be taking on new responsibilities that will leave me very little free time soon. 

Anyway, there was heavy downpour that afternoon so I chose to wear black to fit the mood. Do you do that, pick your color scheme according to the weather? I do! Almost all the time. 

Top from Landmark/ Shorts from Folded & Hung/ Pumps from Ferretti/ Bag from Parfois/ Necklace from SM Accessories

I like the cowl-neck and asymmetrical details of this top. Got it for only P230 in Landmark! Steal.

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The Ferretti satchel

I was at the Ferretti store in Glorietta 5 last Saturday to turn over receipts (I work for the the brand) when I spotted the new bags. It was love at first sight! I immediately bought one of the structured satchels since I am into that particular look right now.

Well, I was once seriously considering those Cambridge bags but a friend aptly observed that they're the new Longchamps - meaning everyone had them. I prefer having more unique pieces, and this Ferretti bag fit the bill (quite literally, too, since this style is only available in very very limited quantities).

Did I mention that the bag is just P899? :D It also comes in light taupe.

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Friday at Parfois

Parfois (par-fwa) is a Portuguese brand that just opened shop in Manila last year. I remember checking it out in Glorietta 4 then, but I had the impression that it was too expensive for my budget. The store definitely looked swanky and intimidating! But what do you know, the accessories are actually quite affordable. All of them, even the elaborate ones, are less than P1,000, with an average price of P380 to P600+. That's about the same price range as Forever 21 or SM accessories.

I'm really glad that Parfois invited me to be their blogger stylist of the day last Friday. It was my first time to assist customers in a store and I must admit, it's exhausting! Nonetheless, meeting everyone was a real treat; I was impressed by the diversity of Parfois customers. There were students, yuppies, working moms, and even grand old ladies with white hair. I guess this diversity speaks for the kind of items you can find in the store - timeless, versatile pieces that can be worn by anyone regardless of age.

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Havaianas Slim Kokeshi in Grey Silver

When I was in high school and college, you can bet good money that you won't catch me wearing flip flops outside. It was a principle thing. I considered the flip flop as a fashion faux pas when worn to somewhere else other than the house, palengke, or beach/resort. I didn't understand why girls insisted on wearing these rubber slabs to everywhere thinking it's cool.

Well, now I'm a little older and (I guess) wiser, so I've learned the value of this thing called compromise. Rubber slippers are quite comfy so they're my default choices for running errands like going to the bank or doing a grocery run. They're also perfect for a lazy stroll in the mall, just window shopping.

Sooo...I'd like you to meet my first ever pair of Havaianas! I know, I'm late. Very late. But the brand generously gifted me with one of the styles from their newest line called Slim Dolls. It features two traditional dolls from Russia and Japan - the Matryoshka (symbolizing health and family) and Kokeshi (for good luck and happiness). I got the Slim Kokeshi in Grey Silver (P1,495).

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Shoe dilemma

I think about shoes all the time. That's only fair though, since that's a job requirement from where I am. Haha. So, one of the shoes at the top of my mind lately is the Carmie Mary Jane Pumps from Gold Dot. I LOVE the look, very similar to the platform/heel shape of the iconic Jeffrey Campbell Lita shoes. 

Downside: these cost P3,000 a pop. They're quite unique and they look comfortable to me

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