Sister stylists Maryam and Marjan Malakpour dress rock stars like Keith Richards and supermodels like Heidi Klum. They're constantly working and on the go so they found themselves in need of a good pair of flats that they could easily tuck into their bags and change into when heels started to take their toll. But the girls who dress Keith Richards aren't exactly into ballerina flats.
So in 2009, the sisters Malakpour launched Newbark, a luxury collection of handmade, super sleek leather flats that can easily fold up and be stuffed into a clutch or a coat pocket.
"We did this out of not having the perfect pair of flats that you can just slip into," Maryam explained. "Neither one of us were into ballerinas, we wanted something a bit more rock and roll. So we came up with this--the look of it is a Moroccan babouche meets an English gentleman's slipper meets something you found in Japan in a spa." Net-a-porter's Natalie Massinet immediately loved the product and launched Newbark, and since then Bergdorf Goodman in New York and Harvey Nichols in Dubai have picked up the line. Of course, with the initial success of the foldable flats, it was only natural that Maryam and Marjan expanded the line to include bags and more footwear styles like motorcycle boots.
"Once you get going you get going," said Maryam. "Because then I thought I'd also like to have a clutch to put my papers in, and then it was about wanting the perfect motorcycle boot. It's all about practicality--we're just trying to make stuff that doesn't date."
And with Newbark's ultra sleek design aesthetic--supple leathers in subdued shades of black and white and brown with the occasional subtle pop of silver or pink or orange, expanding the line just makes sense. After years of dressing celebrities, these sisters have good, well-trained eyes, and know what it takes to make shoes and bags that combine comfort, function and style.
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