Six years after launching her eponymous collection, Barbara Briones is attempting to bring her business to an even broader group. “I believe that in terms of design and craftsmanship, the brand has become sophisticated to appeal to a more global woman, never leaving behind our focus on quality,” the Chilean designer notes.
Tapping into her Latin American heritage, the spring collection showcases traditional elements of artistry in metalworking and leathers done in a natural palette punctuated with bold colors like fuschia, lime and electric blue. “This season’s inspiration has been the essence of nature and a more organic approach in terms of shape,” she reveals. Using exotic skins such as classic leather and suede accented with metal cap toes and lips, the result is a collection spanning smoking slippers and sandals to chunky heels. Wholesale prices range from $130 to $400.
After studying shoe design at Cordwainers at London College of Fashion (which has nurtured a host of prodigies including Jimmy Choo, Charlotte Olympia and Nicholas Kirkwood, to name a few), Briones interned at the House of Ferragamo and Mulberry and launched her own line in 2007. But it was her time spent in Buenos Aires, Argentina, that cemented her career path. “I had the fortune of meeting great leather artisans who influenced and encouraged me to develop a more complete dedication towards my profession,” she says.
Today, she divides her time between New York and Chile, where her flagship store and studio are based and where local artisans make each shoe by hand. This coming season her shoes will be found at the uber-hip boutiques Assembly, Albertine and Condor in New York. “I believe my brand is a good blend, combining old world artisans and traditional design training,” she says. “It’s an eclectic handmade collection where the skills of talented artisans merge with contemporary design.”