Marian Keyes on Chie Mihara shoes: ‘They will visibly upset your enemies’

Sudden Wild Enthusiasms: Chie Mihara

Her shoes are entirely unalike anyone else’s (that I know of.)

Her shoes are entirely unalike anyone else’s (that I know of.)

 

There’s a beautiful walk in Co Wicklow called The Devil’s Glen. Myself and Himself used to go, and we’d never meet another soul. Then I wrote about it – and the next time Himself and I went, it was so aswarm with people, we couldn’t get into the car park. “Where did these all come from?” I asked, irate. Then I remembered the article. “Surely … ah no … like, it couldn’t have been me?” Nervous laugh. “Could it?”

So I’m a bit anxious, sharing with you the wonder that is Chie Mihara. Because what if, like me, you think that the shoes are fabaliss and you go on the website and buy them all?

Well, I’ll chance it … Right then. Chie Mihara is a Brazilian-Japanese shoe designer who works out of Spain. Her shoes are entirely unalike anyone else’s (that I know of). This brand marches to the beat of its own drum, never referencing current trends, always looking timelessly covetable.

To be able to run in high heels, secure in the knowledge that you won’t slip on a rainy footpath, is a price above rubies.

The normal run of events is: you buy a pair of sandals one summer and wear them to death. But if you tried sporting them again the following summer, you’d be laughed out of town. Because fashion happens fast, right? But not with Chie Mihara. I have a pair I bought 12 years ago and they still enjoy heavy rotation.

Chie says she’s inspired by everything from 1930s vintage to 1980s humour; to me, her shoes look like what you’d wear in the second World War, dancing with GIs during the Blitz. Either way, they mark you out as an individual. There are bold colours, polka dots and animal skin, embellished with leather flowers, suede bows, scalloped straps and pompoms, everything eyecatching and lovingly crafted.

‘Chie Mihara is a Brazilian-Japanese shoe designer who works out of Spain’
‘Chie Mihara is a Brazilian-Japanese shoe designer who works out of Spain’

They’re whimsical but never silly and will visibly upset your enemies. You will catch them staring, with green sickened faces, wondering, “Where the hell did she get them strangely beautiful shoes? For I have seen them nowhere. Not in Brown Thomas, not on Asos, nowhere.”

As well as beautiful they are extraordinarily comfortable. I need height from a shoe, and Chie gives me height, but always with a chunky heel and very often a platform. Which means I’m elevated but not tilted forward with the weight of my entire body balanced on the balls of my feet.

Also, there’s anti-slip rubbering on the soles. Which I realise isn’t the sexiest sentence ever said about shoes. But what price peace of mind? To be able to run in high heels, secure in the knowledge that you won’t slip on a rainy footpath, is a price above rubies.

Please don’t buy all the 35s, that’s all I ask (I am size 35).

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