Dazed Digital

Santiago

Nicole Zarhi from Z&D Makers

December 14, 2011

Craft, design, Made In Chile and moccasins

  • Text by Satellite Voices

Guest Feature by Fer Munizaga

After trying to buy a pair of chilled out moccasins for herself, the Chilean designer Nicole Zarhi realized that there weren’t stores in Santiago with classic yet innovative styles of shoes. That is when she decided to create Z&D Makers. The brand focus on classic styles, your Oxfords and nautical shoes, but with the funk of adding bright colours and details to celebrate the Made In Chile ideal. Crafted in geniune leather by hand and by a traditional shoe process, Z&D Makers are local champions of artisanal fashion.

Satellite Voices: How did you start making shoes?
Nicole Zarhi: Like everything happens, on autopilot. If there is a moment that should define it, it would be the day that I couldn’t find moccasins for myself. So why don’t make them? Then the idea of making a brand started, taking classic styles and rescuing the original manufacture of shoes, maintaining traditional processes by hand. At the same time, we knew they had to be fresh, desirable, somethng that could unleash the mandes of both, the client who sees them for the first time and for the client who remembers his childhood with these shoes. An that is how we are now on our fourth collection.

SV: In what do you inspire to create the collections?
Nicole Zarhi: It is really a blend of pictures I look up in blogs and in my family albums, as well as from my memory and personal tastes. Not even one pair of shoes is produced that I would not want to use, so the filter is hard.

SV: How would you define Z&D Makers?
Nicole Zarhi: With the “Oooohh” from the people that come inside the store. The shoes give you that feeling, the feeling that you were looking for them for a long time and you finally find them.

SV: Who are your local and foreign favourite shoe designers?
Nicole Zarhi: Hmmm, actually I have favorite shoes, not designers. The style of a shoe is a hundred times more important than the brand within. You often follow fashion designers, but I think that with shoes you follow styles. I admire brands that make your dream shoe accessible like Bass, Steve Madden, Frye and Jeffrey Campbell.

SV: What are your next projects with Z&D Makers?
Nicole Zarhi: We are now dreaming of growing. We have accomplished several goals in a very short time, something we are not affraid of. As a “coming soon”, we are looking at collaborations with other brands across the world.

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