As published in The Jakarta Post
Sun, February 27 2011
Shoes mean more – a fashion statement and a show of a person’s personality, making the comfortable and affordable shoes irresistible.
With so many pricey designer tags, the emergence of new local labels, like June+Julia (J+J) and UP, is fresh air for shoe lovers, offering signature styles without hurting your wallet.
J+J’s name derived from its owners-cum-designers, June Paski, a state university accounting student in Bandung and renowned fashion blogger, and Julia Fatimah, a visual communication design student at a Bandung-based private university.
Similar to all the women in the world, June and Julia love shoes, but high prices are a turnoff.
“Most of us [women] naturally search for items that make us standout among the crowd, feeling fabulous,” said June, one of J+J’s brains.
Targeting women of all ages, J+J seeks inspiration from fashion runways, blogs, magazines, streets and customer suggestions in its effort to realize people’s dreams of having high-fashion shoes at affordable prices, without forgetting other aspects – comfort and charm.
“J+J presents edgy as well as custom-order shoes,” Julia says
With the custom-order, she says shoe-lovers can meet their personal needs and wishes – from the design, height of the heels, fabrics and colors.
Maryjane Satin comes with a classy, girly design — with the 12-centimeter chunky heels and satin material in black, maroon, chocolate and navy blue colors — fit for formal and semi-formal occasions.
For an outstanding street casual look, Lola Boots come in black-leather and nude-faux fur suede — a pair of attention-grabbing shoes with 13-centimeter heels and 4-centimeter platforms.
Pixie shoes are perfect for hanging out, partying or for semi-formal occasions. They come in black and brown-orange leather, with heels and platforms similar in height to Lola Boots.
J+J’s signature is “feminine purple color and art-deco for design style, emerging from the 1920s of Paris”, said Julia.
With J+J, June and Julia encourage Indonesian people to start loving local brands.
“We don’t have to go overseas just to get the shoes or goods we search for. There are many local brands here which can meet our need,” June said.
Another new brand, UP, is also hard to resist – sending out a girly yet bold, sweet but also edgy look.
Diana Rikasari, UP’s owner and former market researcher, who was also brand management executive in several multinational companies, says her shoes are more into “casual heels and wedges” for women aged between 18 and 35.
Her brand, she says, pays high attention to comfort.
“Women can wear UP shoes from day to night and stay stylish and chic without their feet getting hurt,” Diana said, sharing her brand’s recipe — “not too high, not too low, nothing over-the-top, just the right dose.”
For Diana, who is also a popular fashion blogger, shoes hold untold meaning and purpose.
“I see them as the prettiest form of art, and I also believe that shoes are the best way to define one’s personality.”
Her fondness of shoes rolled up an idea of creating UP.
“As a shoe lover, I feel knowledgeable enough to decide what kinds of shoes are comfortable to walk in. My experience in wearing shoes, and mostly heels, helps a lot.”
UP shoes are true to wedges and heels — they are slightly bulky yet comfy, playing with depth, shine and shades, and combining different materials in its enchanting shoes.
The inspirations come mostly from fashion runways, chats between Diana and her mother, special events and customer feedback.
UP’s Anjani shoes come in black and beige colors, made of faux patent leather straps and batik lacing, with coffee colored, suede-like heels.
There is Anya in gray and black and pink colors, created from faux-patent leather mixed with canvas-wrapped wedges that match different outfits. Or, you can go for Stella — which comes in black, brown and red options, made of red-canvas uppers with triple bronze-buckles and wood-textured heels. All of their heels are around 9-cm with 2-cm platforms.
Both J+J and UP sell their products online. UP’s online store (iwearup.com) is charming and cute, with a pink layout and chubby, smiling pink birds in the logo. J+J (juneandjulia.blogspot.com ) has an elegant and clear-cut layout with big-detail pictures displaying their shoes and the purple feather logo.
Diana says she is planning to sell UP shoes with both direct and online shopping, with UP’s first store set to open this year before going international.
J+J will make a similar move, set to open stores and market its shoes abroad alongside the launch of its international webstore. So it’s true after all, women just cannot have enough shoes.