Welcome to Top Shelf, the new series dedicated to the best and brightest fashion buys on the market. Watch this space to find all you’ll ever need to live a stylish life.
Prep the BBQs and grab your beach tote, because it’s summertime, y’all. Memorial Day weekend is so close we can’t handle it, which means you can officially break out all the warm-weather essentials that you’ve been stockpiling for the past few months. With beach weeks, poolside lounging, and tropical vacays on the horizon, you’re going to need just the right shoe to carry you through the season — and we’ve found it. Introducing Proud Mary, a line of fair-trade, on-trend fashion and shoes that marry the quality of traditional craftsmanship with the appeal of stylish silhouettes and colors.
Started in 2008 by Harper Poe, Proud Mary was born after the founder traveled to South America to work with Habitat for Humanity and promptly fell in love with the brightly colored textiles and fashionable (yet wearable) footwear. In the nearly 10 years since, the company has collaborated with artisans and family-owned workshops in over 30 countries to create chic styles using age-old techniques and locally sourced materials. This year, Proud Mary worked with artisans in Morocco to bring you what we think is the only shoe you will ever need for your vacation.
Offered in several shapes, the raffia shoe is the perfect combination of comfort and style. Each pair takes a full day to weave. The tops (or uppers) of the shoes are prepared by craftswomen who have perfected the technique over generations of manipulating natural fibers to allow for long wear and sustained comfort. The leather soles, however, are crafted by a remote group of male cobblers in Essaouira, a small coastal town where the shoes originated.
Opt for the Fringe Slide Sandal ($148), shown here in black, for any getaways packed with seasides strolls. Reach for a Classic Loafer ($178 available in June) if you’re planning on a weekend filled with gallery hopping and outdoor brunches. Or perhaps the Strappy Sandal ($156) will tickle your fancy for the slew of warm-weather weddings you have on your iCal.
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