Welcome to our new awesome column, You Oughta Know. No, it's not a '90s Alanis Morissette fan column, though we'd be totally OK with that; it's the place to find out about everything new, cool, and 100-percent NYLON, from bands about to hit the scene to designers who are on the verge of making it big. Consider it the place to meet and greet the new generation of talent. We're kicking off the column with Italian brand, Oz Shoes, because if there's one thing everyone should really know about, it's where to find retro-fun shoes.
Instagram is good for a lot of things, like keeping tabs on your favorite It Girls and sharing your envy-inducing vacation pics, but the best thing I've found on Instagram recently has to be the Italian shoe brand, Oz Shoes. Founded by two best friends, Rubea and Ginevra, in Rome, the line consists of two styles, wedges and boots, in the absolute craziest prints, colors, and fabrics I could ever imagine--I'm talking white fuzzy Mary-Janes and shag carpet-styled David Bowie boots. (One click through the slideshow at right, and I promise you'll be hooked on the wild designs.)
To find out more about the designers and their magical inspirations, I hopped on Skype to chat about Yetis, ski boots, and men in platforms. Read on for more....
What inspired you to start the brand?
R: We've known each other since kindergarden, and we've always loved to do things together. We wanted to do wedge shoes because they are comfortable. We started collecting fabrics and leathers and we just came up with this idea.
G: We traveled around flea markets, shops, and fabric factories and to the Netherlands where they sell unique upholstery from the '20s, and we just collected a lot of stuff. Then we decided to mix it all together and do something that represents us.
R: We wanted to do something that was a little bit like a trip to an amusement park, where you get everything in one day of fun. That's how we think of our shoes. We love platforms, and they're very comfy in a way--well, if you manage to not kill yourself, some of them are very comfortable! [Laughs]
Did you have any past experience in shoe design?
R: No, but we're big collectors of shoes! [laughs] We work with some brands here in Rome, and we are friends with the girls from
, so we have some experience around fashion.
G: I work as an assistant costume designer for cinema in and around Rome.
Where do you draw your inspiration for your designs from?
R: Our main inspiration was a ski boot we saw near Rome.
G: It was this little, little, tiny shop that had a style that was just so amazing, we decided we had to do something inspired by this ski boot.
R: It doesn't really make sense, actually, but we are very much like this--very instinctive. We take things that we like, and then we make a milkshake of ideas and then that's what came out.
If you could pick one person you'd love to see wearing your shoes, who would it be?
R: Hmm. Dead or alive? Or both?!
G: I would love to see Yayoi Kusama in the Kusama wedges.
R: Vivienne Westwood, too. And also men!
I want to talk about your Instagram because that's how I found our about you. How would you define you aesthetic and how do you find these crazy, cool inspirational pictures?
R: We really
for a lot of things on the internet. We use sites like Pinterest, Tumblr, Google Images, and all those things. We put adjectives that we like and just go from link to link, or maybe we regram a picture from a friend of ours or a thing that we like.
Do you have a favorite thing to search for?
R: We love vintage boots, and we have a thing for cotton candy.
G: I have a thing for sunglasses, I'm a big collector. That's one of my daily searches.
R: She has over 300 pairs of sunglasses. Since I was about 12 I just started collecting them. My whole family collects stuff.
Oh my goodness.
R: Another thing we love is the Yeti, you know the monster that lives in Nepal? We love the idea of this legend that is told every time with a different detail added. We think it's fascinating. We love instant photography, so we search a lot for old Polaroids, too.
How did you come up with the name of the brand?
R: There's a legendary animal that has a bat's body and a robin's head, who lives in the wild, only comes out at night, and loves the reain...so we imagined having one, and we called him Oz.
G: We have a very fervent imagination. And we like having a very short name. The problem is a lot of people think it's a reference to
The Wizard of Oz.
R: We prefer to think of it more like Oz as in Australia, but really it's the bird. It reminds us that we can mix a little bit of everything together, and it has a lot of our personality and imagination.
fix in the slideshow and grab your own pair of Yeti wedges