Santiago de Compostela Pamplona Zaragoza La Rioja Barselona & Catalonia Madrid Huelva Cordoba Elche Elda Mallorca Menorca



Malababa, My Caramel Leather Crush

Malababa, my caramel leather crush, is an artisan leather design workshop turned boutique luxury women shoes and accessories brand. The Madrid-based founders, Ana Carrasco and Jaime Lara, work with an expert pool of craftsmen and women to create incredibly seductive leather finishes for their pieces. I especially love Malababa‘s reddish-hued leather shoes and bags.

caramel leather crush

Federica” ballerina flat by Malababa, as seen some time ago on YOOX. I absolutely adore the “burnt caramel” finish and the slightly worn effect of the leather. They didn’t have my size, unfortunately.


Cestona” basket-style woven leather bag in “old pink” by Malababa (currently at 420 Euros on the Malababa website).

caramel leather crush

Fedecuqui” mid-heel pump in cherry. 170 Euros on the Malababa website.

caramel leather crush

“Federica”, Malababa‘s basic ballerina (also featured here), is hands down the best ballerina I’ve ever seen. I love the fluid, elongated shape, there is just enough toe “cleavage” to make this classic shoe sexy and the deep Cordovan-style leather finish is to die for. For me the only con is that it doesn’t come in my size (9.5-10 US, 41 Spanish). I should really inquire into this.

Recently I also discovered “Fedecuqui“, the brand’s new mid-heel pump (currently at 170 Euros). It has the same fluid signature Malababa shape to it as the ballet flat and comes in a number of pastels and classic colors, all with a beautiful soft glossy finish.

caramel leather crush

The “Fedecuqui Salobreña” mid-heel pump in a creamy caramel finish.

caramel leather crush

Relaxed country style for the city: “Teodora” woven leather bag. This color is referred to as “Cowboy” by the brand. It makes me think of honey caramel. At 530 Euros it’s one of the most expensive bags of the current collection.

caramel leather crush

Jimbo” organically shaped natural leather color clutch bag. Currently at 144 Euros through Malababa website.

caramel leather crush

Knotbag by Malababa. 230 Euros on Malababa website.

caramel leather crush

Sweet basics: “Gomapan” flat leather sandal with a gently serrated sole in light honey/caramel color. Currently on sale for 91 Euros on the Malababa website.

Caramel, honey caramel, deep caramel leather – it’s all synonymous with luxury. My Malababa caramel leather crush is an expensive crush to have, but, fortunately, they do have sales, and the shoes are way more accessible than bags.

Some other Malababa designs:

caramel leather crush

Hermenegilda” large woven leather bag in “moka“. Currently at 495 Euros on Malababa website.

caramel leather crush

Elba” quilted mini bag in sheep leather, on sale for 99 Euros at Malababa website.

caramel leather crush

Federica” ballet flat in silver crackled effect leather, currently on sale for 63 Euros through the Malababa website.


caramel leather crush

Skull and stars leather and metal bracelet by Malababa, available at YOOX. To buy, click on the image.

modern leather artisans

Ana Carrasco and Jaime Lara, the modern leather artisans, founders of the Malababa brand.

caramel leather crush

Malababa opened its first boutique in Madrid in 2010. It is located in the prestigious Salamanca district. The interior is a nice mix of contemporary and rustic decor. Image courtesy of GOOP.

As of today, Malababa has five boutiques in Spain‘s major cities, all located in upscale shopping areas (two in Madrid, one in Barcelona, one in Bilbao, and one in San Sebastian).

So, that’s my caramel leather crush. Pretty sweet, huh?

caramel leather crush






Red Shoe Tuesday

Red Shoe Tuesday is an invitation to wear red shoes or a red tie to work, to show your support of other women’s professional dreams. The idea comes from Mariela Dabbah, a charismatic speaker, corporate consultant, and New York based author who heads the “Red Shoe Movement. I’m all for Red Shoe Tuesday, but  since I don’t work in an office, I will be showing my support through this blog and other social media.

Red Shoe Tuesday

A few words about the “Red Shoe Movement“, which I discovered through Twitter. Red Shoe Movement is an organization that helps women realize their ambitions in the corporate world. The highlight is on Hispanic women, who are widely present in the North American work force, but the advice is pretty universal. By working with the employers to make the corporate world a better place for Latina women,  the “Red Shoe Movement” is making change happen for all women. It’s a win-win situation. Mariela Dabbah‘s “Find Your Inner Red Shoes: Step Into Your Own Style of Success” book is available here and here.

Here are the guiding principles of the Red Shoe Movement:

red shoe tuesday

Aren’t they great? I particularly like the fact that this equally applies to both women and men. Just like a man shouldn’t badmouth a woman, other women should not do it either. Women as well as men should celebrate the accomplishments of women in the workforce. And anyone who is qualified can be a mentor.

Red Shoe Tuesday

Go Red Shoe Tuesday with “Ines” peep-toe wedge by Maians SS16.

I’ve always loved wearing red shoes or boots. Now, thanks to Mariela Dabbah and the Red Shoe Movement, there is an even better reason to do it.

red shoe tuesday

Happy Red Shoe Tuesday! Peep-toe espadrille wedge with suede upper by Paloma Barcelo’.


Art Shoes in TO

Art shoes from La Rioja are terrific. The more I find out about this brand, the more I like it.

The moment I saw the “Rio” pump on The Art Company website, I was totally smitten with its shape. And with how stunning its intense blue patent leather trim looked against the bone white leather.

Art Shoes

Rio” pump by the Art Company from La Rioja. The pump features a velcro side closure.

It turned out to be a “dancing trend” pump (all shoes on the Art website are categorized by “trends”). Leave it to me to always go for the dance-related shoes.

I was really excited when the shoes arrived in the spring, fresh from the brand’s Spring-Summer 2016 collection.

Art Shoes

Rio pump from the Art Shoes SS16 collection.

and could hardly wait for the right occasion to take them “out on the town“. I finally ventured out in June, legs still untanned:

Art Shoes

Rio” pump by Art Shoes. Springy rubber is great, at 3” not too high, but definitely the highest it can be, while still being suitable for dancing.

The pump is made of combination gaucho and boa leather. Gaucho leather, as I found out here, is handcrafted Italian cow-hide leather with a unique textured grain. The leather is finished with a light glaze that accentuates the surface texture and enhances transparency. It requires minimal care. As the name suggests, boa leather, in the middle part of the pump, has reptile-inspired texture.

Here is another version of the “Rio” pump:

Art Shoes

The “Rio” pump in multicolor looks like a shoe version of the famous Mondrian painting series.

art shoes

Broadway Boogie Woogie” by Piet Mondrian. Talk about dancing, and Art! More about Mondrian‘s art here.


Art Shoes

Reflections of Toronto. With Art Shoes from Spain.

Like all Art Shoes, the “Rio” pump is lined with a luxurious cushy micro-fiber insole, which is great for walking. It’s not just the insole though. I think that the whole shoe is built in such a way that legs and feet don’t suffer. You know the feeling when you take off high heels and your feet go “Aww….“? Well, it wasn’t there. There was nothing to get relief from. It was all good. Enough to make a girl dreamy:)

Art Shoes

Wearing my “Rio” pumps, July 2016, Bay/Front streets, Toronto. The shoes inspired the outfit.

So this is my experience of the Art brand. You can buy the shoes, including the “Rio” pump (last sizes currently on sale), online from the Art Company website (they deliver globally). I also spotted some models by Art at Scarpino Shoes in Toronto (they have two locations on Queen Street, in Toronto’s fashion district).

Coming soon: a review of Art‘s upcoming Fall-Winter collection.




The Ultimate Shoedown or Fairy Tales Do Come True

An “Ultimate Shoedown” is every girl’s fantasy. Imagine being surrounded by a group of luxury shoe designers each clutching a pair of their prettiest heels, eager for you to accept them. The stuff of dreams, right? Well, just such a party is a yearly occurrence in the Spanish shoe-making center of Elda.

This past June 17, the lucky woman was Marta Hazas, a Spanish TV star and passionate shoe lover. The shoe designers represented some of the best Spanish brands that call Elda home.

ultimate shoedown

Marta Hazas, Spanish TV star and recipient of 2015 “Women with the Best Shoes” Award. Image source: Revista del Calzado.

The Woman with the Best Shoes

Every year since 1999 the Elda Shoe Museum (and store) convenes a panel of shoe industry, media and arts personalities. Their task – to choose “The Woman with the Best Shoes“. (The Spanish title: “Mejor Calzada” is much shorter and cool sounding. Usually English is more succinct than Spanish, but when it comes to shoes it’s different. Interesting, right?)

Before we get into the details of the latest “Ultimate Shoedown” at Elda, I want to thank Patricia Jorge, a charming person and popular Spanish shoe blogger from the Canary Islands, for the images and information about this unique and very Spanish event.

According to Patricia, the criteria for the prize are quite straight forward. The candidate must be a recognizable public realm persona, a stylish shoe “aficionada“, and a strong supporter of shoes “Made in Spain“. Finally, she must come to Elda to receive her prize and she must not charge for her appearance.

Quite naturally, the winner of the award becomes an ambassador of the brands that present her with the star models of their current collections.

Some of the past recipients include: actress Paz Vega (starred in 2004 “Spanglish“)

ultimate shoedown

Paz Vega at 20th anniversary of Vogue Spain, 2008. Image source: www.sfgate.com

the late Duchess of Alba, who was for many, many years a highly flamboyant presence on Spain’s social scene, here in a traditional Spanish equestrian outfit:

ultimate shoedown

Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, the 18th Duchess of Alba. Image source: www.vintag.es.

and the charming Venezuela-born Marie Marguerite, Duchess of Anjou, here with her husband the Duke:

ultimate shoedown

Duke and Duchess of Anjou. Image source: www.pinterest.com.

ultimate shoedown

Like a kid in a candy store: Marta Hazas surrounded by her new shoes. Image source: Elda Shoe Museum IG.

ultimate shoedown

Luxury shoe designer Sara Navarro adjusting Marta’s new Sarahworld feathery espadrille platform sandal. Photo courtesy of El Blog de Patricia.


Erissal” eco-chic espadrille platform sandal in suede, with exotic feather detailing by Sarahworld by Sara Navarro. Image courtesy of Sarahworld.

The “Woman with the Best Shoes” gets fussed over and spoiled like there is no tomorrow. Besides getting all these new shoes and a pretty winged shoe trophy, she gets measured for her own personal shoe last. With that she can have perfect fitting custom shoes made for her by any of her favorite designers.

Here are some other shoes that Marta Hazas got to take home with her:

ultimate shoedown

High-heel suede sandal with fringe detailing by JONI. Photo courtesy: JONI Shoes.

ultimate shoedown

Bejeweled vinyl and metallic leather peep-toe pump by Magrit. Photo courtesy of Magrit.

ultimate shoedown

Metallic leather and suede fantasy sandal by Paco Herrero. Photo courtesy of Paco Herrero Shoes.

ultimate shoedown

Leather and fabric high-heel sandal by Pedro García. Photo courtesy of Pedro García.


ultimate shoedown

Glitter bow suede stiletto slingback pump by Sabina Teruel. Photo courtesy of Sabina Teruel.

ultimate shoedown

Block heel slingback sandal with outsize suede fringe detailing by Sacha London. Photo courtesy of Sacha London.


Lace-up low-heel slingback by Hispanitas. Photo courtesy of Hispanitas.

So, this is what I call an “Ultimate Shoedown or Fairy Tales Do Come True.” Are you envious yet? I surely am.

Happy dreaming!




Santo-Domingo, Dominican Republic, a good few years ago
Ann Mailsi – the blogger
Calgary Stampede, Alberta
Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario
On the Trans-Canada highway
Southampton, Ontario
Where i’m based
A letter from Fuente Vaqueros, Andalucia
Tia Vicentica
Tia Margarita
A letter from Alberto
What inspires me
Spanish theme always
Tattoo obsessed policeman! Yo-hoo!









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