After meeting at Chie Mihara’s studio, I was elated to get whisked away for an in-depth tour of her family owned factory. First, we entered a huge room filled with bolts of leather and suede in every color imaginable and bins overflowing with shoe forms, soles, and heels for countless styles. This room housed all the materials needed for making the beautiful Chie Mihara shoes that we know and love, but at that point I still had no idea how much work brings these gems into fruition. Rosa, Chie’s director of quality control, led me through the factory, stopping at each station to explain the entire process. From cutting out patterns, shaping the leather over a shoe form, nailing heels in place, gluing in cushy insoles, punching holes for laces, touching up paint, adding decorative details, quality inspection to packing the finished product into the signature hot pink tissue paper, there is never a dull moment in the factory. The men and women who work hard to make each pair of shoes were happy and upbeat while listening to music and chatting. They also seemed pretty amused to have their photos snapped by curious little me!
There must be well over one hundred steps and just as many hands necessary for making the perfect shoe. All of this care and precision truly makes the quality the Chie Mihara collection so outstanding and unique. I have to say, I loved Chie long before visiting her studio and factory, but now I love her so much more!
Shop the new Chie Mihara collection here.