I don't think I've written about an independent high-street-to-mid-range priced shoe label start-up that's based in London...ever. By start-up I mean one that is debuting their shoe collection. By high-street to mid-range, I specifically mean prices that are between £75-£135 (Topshop prices I suppose). By independent, I mean one singular designer with a tiny team that isn't supported by a bigger brand or conglomerate. Enter Laura Villasenin whose work I saw a few months ago as an in-progress snapshot and now finally her together with a financial backer, she has launched Miista. Villasenin studied at Cordwainers in London and graduated with a first class Honors degree and after working for a few labels she has banded together with a few friends to make her dream of a label come true.
The independent shoe designer who wishes to bring high quality leather shoes at affordable prices are few and far between. If anything, high-end is usually the destination place for the average shoe designer that graduates from an institution like Cordwainers be it working for themselves or working for others. Therefore I'm pleased to say that despite the relatively quiet launch, Miista will be stocked at a TON of places all over the world and will be dropping their first collection 'Female Warriors' into stores in February.
"In a world that has become cluttered with similarities, carbon copies and conventional styles, Miista brings an uncommon beauty to the street."
Uncommon beauty might be a lofty reach but I'll settle for just buying into shoes at a reasonable price that has the design to justify it. The simple question of "Do I feel it's worth it?" has an affirmative answer here.
Miista's savvy in be able to see what's lacking at present in shoes is also extended to her nous with bloggers as she has worked with Saga Sig (whose photographs manage to pop up on Tumblr pages abound...) on the following lookbook images (as well as illustrator Harpa Einars) and she has also enlisted Queen Michelle of Kingdom of Style to design the website.
At present, it's a compact collection of styles where features such as leather weaving, metallic meshes and detailing and cowboy-inspired embellishments are worked into the shoes along with a comfy looking chunky heel. Villasenin may be going slow and steady with quantity of styles but since people are lapping it up on the shop front, I'm sure this will change over the next few months... for now, I'm happy to go with the Western-tipped peep-toe boot where apron fringe or metal embellishment can be removed for your simple shoe change-up pleasure.