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.