Painted Bird shoes are like little pieces of art for your feet.
The hand-crocheted flats come from India by way of Laguna Beach, where former fashion publicist Jennifer Samson started the brand this year with her friend, surf apparel industry vet Nicole Halpern.
The timing couldn’t be better, because crochet is definitely having a fashion moment. There were crochet stitched bags and sandals on the spring runways at Dolce & Gabbana and Tory Burch, and crochet tops and dresses are on the racks at places including Urban Outfitters and Free People. Nike is making a crocheted sneaker, the Flyknit, which will debut at the London Olympics.
Samson discovered the woven flats through a sourcing partner with whom she works in her interior design business, Jennifer Samson Interior Design.
“I was getting blankets from him, and one day I noticed he also had a couple pairs of woven shoes from a little manufacturer in India. I bought them and started wearing them, and the response was incredible,” says Samson, who helped launch the Style Network and worked in PR at Salvatore Ferragamo before moving from Los Angeles to Laguna Beach 2 1/2 years ago.
She and Halpern secured an exclusive with the Indian manufacturer and started designing their own styles, some with ankle straps and some without, in vivid painterly colors.
“There is a whole beach energy infused in these shoes,” Samson says.
“I’ve almost closed the chapter on stilettos, but I still want to feel unique. I still love fashion,” she says. “I feel like these shoes let you express your own sense of style no matter what you have on.”
Painted Bird shoes, $72, at ShopPaintedBird.com.