SA Talks with Dieppa Restrepo
It’s obvious that Dieppa Restrepo designers Andrea and Elisa feel comfortable in their own shoes. The day we met, Elisa was wearing the white mocs and Andrea showed up in the white lace-up’s. “Not planned!” they announced, but judging by the way these two work together, being same-brained isn’t exactly an uncommon occurrence.
The Dieppa Restrepo history is pulled straight from the pages of design folklore. Andrea was spending time in Mexico when she came across the inspiration for Dieppa Restrepo, a classic men’s shoe that “had potential” in her eyes. Andrea and Elisa had some shoes made to their liking, thinking they would start their own line. Back in New York, Steven Alan loved the sample and ordered them for the store. Dieppa Restrepo first arrived in the store this summer, and since then we haven’t been able to keep them on the shelf.
We talked to the lovely ladies of Dieppa Restrepo, and here’s what they had to say.
SA: First off, around Steven Alan we all call these “the dancing shoes”. Is there any truth surrounding this myth? And, do either of you secretly watch Dancing with the Stars ?
Andrea: Jajajaaj, anyone can create their own myths with our shoes, there’s not just one. That’s what I love about them.
Elisa: They are not professional dancing shoes, but I love that people think of dancing when they see them! We did say that they remind us of old-school salsa dancers’ shoes. We are both from Colombia and the older men that hang out in the plazas and go dancing at local little bars have quite a specific style of dressing that is very reminiscent of this type of shoe.
As to Dancing with the Stars , I’ve watched it two or three times and actually liked it (although I could do without the judging part). I actually like dancing shows. Come to think of it, I think I just really like watching people dance in general. My father-in-law doing the robot, for example…
Andrea: No Dancing with the Stars for me, thank you. Jajajajaja, I do love watching the Soul Train re-runs which are on around 3 a.m. these days.
SA: What was your first favorite pair of shoes?
Elisa: When I was four my father brought me a pair of navy leather sandals with little petal-shaped cut-outs from Paris. I loved them so much that when we went to the beach I would find places to stand so my shoes wouldn’t touch the sand.
Andrea: The first pair of shoes I became monothematic with were these red leather boots, similar round shape to Dieppa Restrepo, with these darkened sliver chains hanging on the sides, jajajaajaj. I wish I could draw them for you.
Always a shoe-lover. Shoes from Andrea’s formative years. No joke.
SA: What kind of designs do you have planned for the future? The designs in the current collection are already classics in our book.
Elisa: I think we both like the idea of creating designs that transcend age, time, and style. What’s great about these shoes is that anyone from trendy young hipsters to Upper East-Siders in their sixties comment on how nice they are. In the future we dream of doing everything from riding boots to heels and sandals, but for now we may focus on some more unisex, classic styles in an array of beautiful colors.
Andrea: Yeah, we dream, dream, dream! In my dream there are all our styles in every color, texture, fabric and their combos!!! Wowwww! Dreams, that by the way, we plan to make reality.
SA: We like that your shoes are handmade in Mexico. Can you tell us a little bit about the production process?
Elisa: They are hand-made from 100% patent leather in a small family-owned factory in Mexico. Everything from obtaining the leather to stitching the shoes is very personal and involved.
Andrea: We draw, e-mail, discuss, make samples, perfect the samples, decide colors and combos, and voila!
SA: Does there exist, in your head at this exact moment, a perfect outfit to wear with your favorite pair of Dieppa Restrepo?
Elisa: It really is hard to choose! In the summer I wore the white moccasins and lace-ups to death with shorts and my husband’s button-down shirts, and with girly, short dresses. When it’s colder, my favorite pair is still the black lace-ups. It’s such a classic shoe and looks so chic with dresses and black tights or skinny jeans and tailored coats.
Andrea: For me THEY ARE the perfect outfit, in the morning I slip on the color and style I am feeling like, then work the outfit around them.
SA: What is inspiring you right now (animal, vegetable, mineral)?
Elisa: Although it’s a little cliche, we have been very inspired crystals and precious stones: their rich colors and raw textures. And we continue to be inspired by men’s shoes from the 40s and 50s.
Andrea : The Monothematic Delusion.
SA: Two words to describe Dieppa Restrepo shoes?
Elisa: We’ve never been able to answer questions like these. You ask us for two words and we’ll think of ten: classic, chic, androgyny, city, fun, sophisticated, understated…we could go on and on! I guess what matters is how they would be described by each individual person that wears them.This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 24th, 2008 at 2:58 pm and is filed under Have a Seat. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.