We recently visited with designer Karla López Rivera in her Brooklyn studio to talk about Mariem, her line of footwear and were absolutely blown away by the level of craftsmanship she personally dedicates to each pair.
Mariem is a response to Karla’s personal interest in functional design and movement, and a quest to bring back footwear manufacturing to the US. Originally from Puerto Rico, Karla’s vision is to someday manufacture on the island where she currently designs each collection. Through impeccable craftsmanship Karla seek’s to inspire consumers to be more conscious about what they buy. Her collection features practical but modern shoe designs that balance comfort, beauty and quality at an accessible price.
Its not everyday you meet a shoe designer/maker so we were very curious about her design process. For every collection or project, she explores a concept through sketching that later becomes a technical pattern. She works on mock ups with fabric and decides on styles followed by lots of cutting, sewing, mounting upper to soles, hammering, nailing and gluing repeatedly until they are ready for testing and adjusting the design to a range of sizes. Once the design is finalized, it is photographed and made available on mariem.co. Each pair of Mariem shoes is made to order and crafted by Karla in her studio.
Puerto Rican coffee has won many accolades and what better way to consume your daily dose of caffeine then in the award winning LOA Cup and Saucer design by Josué Rivera Gandia.
In his view, the opportunity to design a cup provides the possibility to inspire individuals in the intimacy of their own home. Home, work and leisure are the three principal moments which are transformed by the act of drinking coffee and are expressed in the triangular design. The Loa cup and saucer are made of stoneware ceramic, we especially love how the handle is seamlessly integrated into the design. Available in black and white here
LOA is an acronym for“ La Otra Arquitectura”(the other architecture) and its main purpose is to promote and publicize quality design in Puerto Rico. The LOA Coffee Cup and Saucer design received a Bronze A’ Design Award in Italy in the Bakeware, Tableware, Drinkware and Cookware Design Category, in 2013.
It was love at first sight when we discovered the Banda rocking chair by Doel Fresse as part of Design in Puerto Rico’s exhibit during Wanted, in New York city. We were immediately transported to a balcony with a dreamy ocean view. The design is based on traditional steel rod furniture from the Caribbean, but with a timeless modern twist. The chair seat and back integrate bands that create a stripes pattern reminiscent of the iconographic beach chairs and the shadows created by jalousie windows, alluding to Caribbean lifestyle and its tropical air. This awesome yellow rocker is the perfect fit for a balcony, patio and outdoor living space adding a casual vibe with lots of modern style. The Banda collection was designed to be efficiently fabricated using similar components.