Good things, like shoes, come in pairs. Another toothsome twosome that is equally congenial is Bahar Shahpar and Cri de Coeur, two sizzling eco-fashion labels that have joined forces to unleash a collection of vegan kicks that marry Shahpar’s penchant for blistering colors with Gina Ferraraccio’s architectural eye. And if the shoes look familiar to astute runway watchers, you’re not hallucinating: Cri de Coeur for Bahar Shahpar first made its debut at New York Fashion Week’s The GreenShows in September.
A PERFECT MATCH
Although the shoes were designed expressly for Shahpar’s show, reception was so overwhelming that she and Ferraraccio decided to deliver them to the masses. Cri de Coeur’s bold and moody designs are the perfect foil for Shahpar’s electrifying palettes and prints, Shahpar says.
“I’ve always liked to style my line with pretty shoes because I have a very strong element of femininity in the womenswear I design,” she tells Ecouterre. “Cri de Coeur embodies that girly style but it’s rooted in something a lot more rough. The silhouettes are strong, the shapes are quirky, and the fabrics and textures are dark and neutral.”
Cri de Coeur’s bold and moody designs are the perfect foil for Bahar Shahpar’s electrifying palettes and prints.
Shahpar and Ferraraccio have known each other for years—Cri de Coeur is one of Shahpar’s clients at the Four Hundred Showroom—but Ferraraccio’s foray into more runway-ready high heels, as well as the introduction of a 100 percent recycled Ultrasuede, made the timing of the collaboration perfect.
SYNTHETIC BUT SUSTAINABLE
“I work with both leather- and vegan-footwear designers,” Shahpar explains, “but I’ve always struggled with the lack of eco-options. Vegan is certainly a step in the right direction but because sustainable textiles are a big part of my collection, I felt that the current synthetic options wouldn’t be authentic to what I was doing.”
Until now, that is. The new recycled ultra-microfiber by Toray Ultrasuede, derived from post-industrial polyester, allowed her to work with a vegan textile that not only proved exemplary on the aesthetic, functional, and performance fronts, but also has “this amazing sustainable story,” Shahpar says.
The new 100 percent recycled Ultrasuede hits all the right notes: aesthetics, performance, sustainability.
The result is three styles (Lorena, Hannah, Scout) in two colors—a scorching magenta (“Wine ‘N Roses”) and a fluorescent yellow (“Sunshine”). Set to drop on store shelves sometime in February, the shoes are as daring and darling as Shahpar’s Spring/Summer 2010 “Warrior Princess” collection.