In the midst of a shoe renaissance, these local brands are poised to bring Filipino-made footwear to the forefront.
With a long tradition of shoemaking and esteemed shoe designers like Kermit Tesoro, who’s known for his avant-garde high heels, the Philippines’ shoe industry is thriving. As the ’ber months settle in, it’s safe to say that it’s time for a wardrobe refresh. Yes, that means adding a few pairs of shoes to your current roster of footwear. Think: preppy and polished Mary Janes that can take you from gallery-hopping to the Sunday market to a fresh pair of sneakers that are comfortable and environmentally-responsible. Below, our edit of Filipino-owned shoe brands to keep on your radar.
Having worked for Opening Ceremony and Tory Burch, the New-York based fashion veteran Nicole Saldaña creates off-kilter footwear reminiscent of the ’90s. Inspired by the unique spirits of the people who surround her, Saldaña merges impeccable construction with playfulness throughout her collections. Handmade in Portugal with Italian materials, Saldaña’s lug-soled shoes highlight quality, accessibility, and diversity…and could be your next quirky and cool classic. Expect chunky Mary Janes, clunky clogs with floral appliqués, and colorful thong platform sandals, among others, featuring metal accents, rainbow PVC, and square toes.
Each eccentric pair of shoes from JOS Mundo reveals the storytelling and multi-generational practice behind it. Translating archival materials into distinctive styles, their collections bridge contemporary styles with traditional craftsmanship. Handmade in small batches in Marikina, the Manila-based label’s pieces are grounded in Filipino heritage using deadstock materials, textiles, and crafts found across the country. Explore the Fettuccine platforms with chunky soles and lengthy candy-colored straps or the Parang Bakya heels with fish skin textiles and antique studs to bring an exuberant finish to everyday shoe wear.
Looking for a cozy, flat mule? Enter Zarah Juan‘s Batwing Mule. Each one-of-a-kind piece from the designer’s namesake label is crafted by the skilled artisans of the Bagobo tribe, covered in vibrant patterns with colorful pom poms and ornate details. Wear these mules from your morning commute to evening drinks without a hitch. Match them with a pair of blue jeans with an oversized black blazer for a preppy and polished look or dress them down with a jumpsuit for a tropical ensemble.
The hunt for the perfect heatwave-friendly shoe has ended. Ramir’s sporty sandals is a mix of practicality and sartorial edge with straps that come in optimistic hues. Cushy flatforms that are soon to become a staple in your shoe repertoire, Ramir’s sandals are an introduction into easy, laidback style. Gender-neutral at the core, the brand’s artisanal leather and rubber footwear are the perfect choice for city dwellers, beach-goers, and platform lovers.
LAKAT sneakers are handwoven sneakers made from pineapple cotton blend yarns. By partnering with various weaving communities in Negros Island, each pair of shoes is an homage to their Ilonggo roots. With limited runs of each style, this artisanal and naturally dyed pair of kicks come in low-cut and high-top styles that bring a casual kick to your summer months. A nod towards eco-fashion, these timeless trainers are an essential for your next line-up of wardrobe essentials.
Everyone loves a good pair of brogues. Andanté has classic leather footwear for modernists in the need for their next office-go-to. With an assortment of loafers, oxfords, ballerina flats, mary janes, and fisherman sandals, the brand has a sartorial roster of ever-enduring silhouettes. A slow fashion label with a focus on made-to-order pieces from a factory in Marikina, Andanté takes inspiration from different eras and adds their own contemporary twist.