This past week we traveled to Spain to visit our factories and catch up with the incredibly talented men and women that pour so much love into every pair of our shoes. It makes us really happy to share some behind-the-scene images of our factories and our life in Spain. Working with these people (who have become family) in this country (which now feels like home) is a huge part of our brand and why we love what we do. They have such deep knowledge in the art of shoemaking. It's inspiring to see them work and learn what they are capable of. It challenges us to push the boundaries in design and appreciate the slow and meticulous steps it takes to make one pair of shoes.
Us. Taking some time to visit a castle in the small town of Almansa. A much needed walk after a long lunch and too much Paella!
We brought our photographer, Maria Del Rio, to photograph and film the people behind our shoes and the skilled and lengthy process of shoemaking. There are over 200 steps involved to make one pair of sneakers, including the embossing of an important reminder to you. You Are Perfect is stamped on every tongue of our sneakers.
Here we are checking in on new sneaker developments. We are kind of loving the tonality of the black on black d'Orsay. Then, Cris with some of our Spanish team members. Rafa, in the floral shirt, helps with our product development. He is a liaison between FREDA and the factories and spends a lot of time visiting them to help answer questions. Jose, in the white shirt, is a friend of the brand and stopped by to say hello and have lunch with us. Cris, in her Stan Ray camo pants from Born to Roam. Raul is in the navy shirt. He runs all of our production in Spain and is truly family. His son Pablo lives with us every summer in CA and we can't wait for our kids to get old enough so they can go stay with him in Spain. He and his wife Lourdes will be empty nesters by then, so we can't wait to send them 3 kids!!! Finally, Miguel in the purple. He is the owner of our sneaker factory and has made our d'Orsay sneaker dream come true. Thanks to his brilliant vulcanized capabilities we were able to produce our EDA sneaker, which took over a year to develop!
This is Pedro, one of the co-owners of the factory that makes all of our non-sneaker shoes. He has been making shoes since he was 13 years old and started this factory with his brother Jose. Amongst other things, Pedro is in charge of cutting all of our leather and has been using the same tool (on the right) for over 20 years! Hand cutting leather is such a labor of love. Pedro said he has to stop and sharpen his blade every two pairs.
This is Lola, who always has that gorgeous smile on her face. She is in charge of the polishing and finishing of our shoes and makes sure everything is perfect before the shoes are packed. Then in the image on the right you are looking at the tiny nails that are used on our heel tabs and and the tool used to hand hammer them on. This attention to detail and design is what we feel sets us apart.
Rafa, Megan, Pedro and Cris and Pilar working on Spring/Summer developments. Watching our team in Spain work and learning about their capabilities inspires us to push the boundaries when building a collection. It challenges them as well and they are so proud to create (by hand) such a unique shoe. We have such harmony, trust and respect for each other.
The entire team. Taking and sharing this image is so long overdue. These are the people that make your shoes! This is our family. Please think of this photo and these people when you open your box. . They are so proud of their work and we are so grateful to work with them.
Thank you for reading this and being a part of this journey! Our FREDA family is huge; we are happy you are getting to know each other a bit better.