MEET FRÉDA SALVADOR, a fictional character designers Megan Papay (far left) and Cristina Nelson Palomo craft- ed as the inspiration behind their new line of “statement” flats and boots. “We felt strongly about cre- ating a muse for the line that embodies strength, individu- ality, confidence and power,” Papay says.
The resulting 10-piece collection for this fall, which retails from $350 to $625, is one with European and Latin American flair featuring a generous amount of quality leath- ers, pony hair, rich colors and convertible features, including a monk shoe with a removable ankle strap and a riding boot with a snap-off shaft. “Our silhouettes are tailored but very feminine at the same time,” Palomo notes.
Despite their mutual obsession with Frida Kahlo—a moniker that served as the inspiration for their collection’s name—the designers come from very different backgrounds and have their own personal styles. Papay, the bohemian of the pair, worked as a stylist for Calvin Klein and now lives in a California suburb. Palomo is from one of Central America’s largest shoemaking families, lives in the heart of San Francisco and favors more urban and androgynous looks. “Our personal lives are so different. We spend our free time doing dif- ferent things, so to bring these differences to one design studio is pretty insightful,” Palomo explains.
Differences aside, Papay says it’s uncanny how many styles and concepts they each present that are similar. “This is when we move forward with an idea. And if there is something one of us feels strongly about, then we talk it through because the dichotomy of our individual styles is so important,” she explains. “It allows for our collection to be well-rounded.” —Angela Velasquez