What do you do when your feet are aching from too much traveling or balancing in killer heels—kick back and put them up? Not sisters Maryam and Marjan Malakpour. The LA-based celebrity stylists turned designers, and CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists, chose to launch their own footwear brand: NewbarK. Firstly, what’s in a name? “When your feet are ‘barking’ it means they’re hurting,” says Marjan. It is the convention that an artist should suffer for her art, and the result for the Malakpours was a core collection of unexpectedly beautiful loafers and sliders. Three seasons later, an expanded range of footwear and accessories can be found in retailers around the world. You may have spotted them in Barneys New York, The Line, Le Bon Marché, Matches Fashion and Net-a-Porter, or on NewbarK’s own site. All shoes, however, remain handmade in downtown LA.
The latest step on the journey sees the sisters collaborating with chic fashion retailer Theory, using its on-trend, ready-to-wear fabrics and hides—including denim, red velvet, zebra-printed calf hair, and army-green cotton—to create the limited edition NewbarK x Theory collection. This must-have Pre-Fall 2017 range was launched in Los Angeles on May 4 with a two-week pop-up at Theory’s Melrose Avenue flagship store. The opening party saw Courtney Cox, Tallulah Willis, and Gia Coppola entertained by hip band Cherry Glazerr, while sliders got the glitter treatment with bespoke Swarovski crystal motif transfers. Customers lucky enough to make it to Theory during the pop-up also got some custom sparkle courtesy of the crystal maison.
Having looked up at the stars, styling the likes of David Bowie, Heidi Klum, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Rihanna, it takes a real passion for fashion to bring the focus right back down to the humble sandal. But oh, what sandals!