The women’s shoe brand Chie Mihara was launched in 2001. Based in Elda, the brand is named after its creator: Chie Mihara. A daughter of Japanese parents who was raised in Brazil, lived and studied in Japan and New York, the designer ultimately settled and created her brand of high-end shoes in Spain, in the heart of the Spanish shoe industry. This varied and unusual trajectory is reflected in Chie Mihara‘s original design style. The first thing you notice about the shoes is their lack of sharp edges or angles: round, organic shapes are blended into one harmonious curvilinear silhouette. Block heel is a staple, communicating a feeling of safety and stability. The style is sometimes referred to as “retro”. More precisely, it’s an artistic reinterpretation and fusing together of elements belonging to a variety of different epochs and styles, from pop-art to baroque.
Photo courtesy Chie Mihara.
Chie Mihara, the designer, loves the artisan dimension of her work. Emphasis on quality and craftsmanship is central to the brand. For Chie Mihara the process of making shoes is a conversation between the artisan and the woman and it involves all aspects of the woman’s psyche: from her desire to look attractive and appealing to her need for stability and comfort.
Chie Mihara produces 150.000 pairs of shoes a year, largely for export. The shoes are sold worldwide in prestigious multi-brand retailers in Europe, Middle East, Asia, and North America. In North America Chie Mihara shoes are available through Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Anthropologie, Yoox, FarFetch.com, Amazon, as well as Browns Shoes and Gravity Pope in Canada.
Here are some of her shoes:
A stunning pair of strappy pumps, almost iconic for Spain. Gallardo Dance makes a shoe very similar to this one (see post here) for Spanish and flamenco dancers. Great to know there is a non-dance version courtesy of Chie Mihara.
This curvacious ankle boot has character. And the heel is moderate. Chie Mihara won’t use heels higher than 8-8.5 cm (app. 3”).
This beautiful suede pump with leaf-like leather decorations can be purchased through Yoox for a very reduced price by clicking on the shoe. Chie Mihara fits small, so order one size up.
These patent leather sandals are channeling a strong 50s pin-up vibe, except this model is made for a woman on the go, hence a sturdy heel. Also currently available through Yoox (click on the shoe to see if your size is available).
This is the Mapa model, from Chie Mihara’s brand new Spring-Summer 2014 collection. Rounded toe, fun pattern, slim straps, strong cylindrical heel, patent leather trimming all amount to a definite 50s vibe. I find them really sexy.
Also from the Chie Mihara SS2014 collection: Jada, a glamorous creation in purple suede and white embossed leather.
Chie Mihara is a fan of the 50s and 80s aesthetic. I’m not sure which this model called Occidente (the West) is channeling here, or maybe it’s both. It’s gorgeous either way.
If you want to see more models or want to know more about this fascinating woman, she’s got a great website and online store. Visit it here. Enjoy Chie Mihara!
Sources: www.chiemihara.com, www.fashionfromspain.com
Image sources: www.shoescribe.com, www.chiemihara.com, www.yoox.com