Shoe designer Lola Saavedra could be found backstage at the runway show for emerging designer Darío Cárdenas. For his whimsical, chiffon-heavy collection, Saavedra styled each look with her trademark quirky, clunky-cool leather shoes. Being seven-and-a-half months pregnant didn’t stop the designer from getting down on hands and knees to help dress the models in each sample pair. After the show, Saavedra was mobbed by the press. A Chilean reporter even bought one of the samples right out of her hands.
Saavedra, whose label is called Franca Lovely Chus, trained as an industrial designer in Argentina before returning to her native Colombia. She has a boutique in Bogotá where her handmade shoes retail for around $225-$300. Manufacturing is done entirely in Colombia.
“The shoes are my obsession,” says Saavedra. “I use only the best materials. I have Argentinian leathers, Colombian leathers, and Italian leathers.”
Her love of bright colors and exaggerated shapes sometimes, she feels, confounds her Bogotá customer base. “There, people don’t like to wear lots of colors,” she says. “I get comments like, ‘This is great but I’d love it in black or brown.’ But this is my signature.”
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