Barbara Briones is the Chilean designer behind the colorful self-titled shoe label, currently in collaboration with Anthropologie. She began her studies in her native Chile, but moved to Buenos Aires after being inspired by the talented pool of Argentine artists working with leather there. She eventually transferred to London to study at the School of Cordwainers at London College of Fashion, followed by positions at the House of Ferragamo in Florence and later at Mulberry. Under the British heritage brand, Briones fine-tuned her accessories skills and affirmed her passion for shoe design. Now based in Santiago, Chile, she creates her distinct handmade collections with the local artisans of the city. The level of quality craftsmanship and fabrics, mainly leather, is clearly visible in each elaborate and beautifully created pair, solidifying the talented Briones as a flourishing accessories designer worth following.
What’s hot in Santiago?
Definitely the weather right now! It’s summer over there and it can get super-hot! Santiago is not very well known for its fashion. The style over there is very laid back and easy—with a good pair of jeans, t-shirt and a jacket, you are fine.
What accessory trends have you picked up on?
I try not to follow trends that much. There are so many styles right now, that it’s difficult to keep track of them. I’ve seen big chain necklaces and bold colors for winter. I think it’s fun to give a little humor to the cold weather for the winter. In shoes, I think big chunky high heels and curious forms will be key for this season. I like to mix different materials and techniques in my shoes—such as metals, different leathers, fabrics—and play around with those textures.
What inspires you?
I find inspiration everywhere, especially in the street. NY is such a fascinating city for that, the street is a catwalk! The key is to be alert—even a trip to my grandmother’s closet can be inspirational! I just got back from a trip from Asia; we went to China, Burma and Vietnam. Definitely a lot of inspiration from there.