Bio

Bio

There is no need to always wear the same black shoes. The only way to learn how to dream is by playing. Chie Mihara does not believe in aesthetic limitations or cultural barriers. She was born in 1968 to Japanese parents in southern Brazil’s bohemian and coloristic Porto Alegre. At the age of 18, she packed her bags and traveled to Fukuoka, Japan, where she studied fashion at the design school. Upon graduating, she moved to Tokyo and joined Junko Koshino’s workshop. This vanguard designer, whom Chie continues to refer to as sensei, understood that creativity is an exercise in personal identity that does not require exploring far-off worlds. For the next two years, Chie worked as her assistant and pattern designer.

By this point, Chie’s relationship with fashion had already become a story of joy and disenchantment, passion and weariness. She decided to leave it all behind and relocate to New York to try her hand at sculptures. This did not last long. Five months later, fashion once again came knocking in the form of a shoe, an accessory in which she found the perfect balance between style and art. She enrolled in New York’s prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology, where she specialized in accessories. Her next step—logical yet unusual—was to work in an orthopedic shoe store, where she learned how to pamper and respect feet, which are oftentimes a tortured afterthought.

Following a two-year stint in the Sam & Libby shoe design department, she set her sights on Europe and began working with Charles Jourdan, the renowned French luxury shoe brand. In 1994, she took the leap to Elda (Alicante, Spain) by the hand of this company, for whom she continued to work over the next two years. Three children and three and a half years later, in December 2001 she decided to take the big step of creating her own brand alongside her husband and with the manufacturer’s support. The company is now solely run by the couple, with her husband as CEO and Chie as the creative director. 17 years and 34 collections later, the thousands of pumps, booties and sandals are proof that there is life beyond the basics.

A case for beauty (and comfort)

“The best shoes are the ones that you completely wear out” as opposed to the pairs that destroy your feet. Some time ago we discovered that even the sexiest heels can be comfortable and that a shoe’s sensuality has no relation to the hectic schedule of the woman wearing it. Nobody needs another pair of pumps just for walking. We want designs that draw smiles and take us further. A shoe is a fantastic platform for making dreams come true, being happy and feeling beautiful.

A personal universe

No other accessory creates such a close emotional bond. Shoes are a form of expression, a piece of happiness for the person who buys them and part of the life of the person who creates them. Chie Mihara shoes have no desire or need for fashion runways. The inspiration behind them is much more intimate. Every design reflects the hours of experimenting and playing with cuts, lines, materials, combinations, heels and shapes. There are no nods to past creations or sly glances at the latest trends (that ultimately standardize everything). Inside her studio, away from external influences, the designer lets her imagination run free as she dives into her universe of dreams, femininity and happiness.

Being fearless about being different

It’s always more fun to break away from the past. When you want to make an impression, the first step is to be bold. Chie Mihara shoes are feminine, cheerful, exciting and whimsical. The creative process is unique and intuitive, more like that of an artist than of a practical designer.

The value of craftsmanship

Authenticity has its own shape. Chie Mihara brings back the value and expertise of artisanal shoemakers, who pay special attention to every detail that defines the finished product: the sole, the heel, the shape and more. Living and manufacturing in Elda is a way of holding on to the knowledge that Made in Spain designs are famous for.