Handmade Shoes by Ariana Bohling

I almost did a backflip followed by some booty-shaking when I saw this beauty:

ariana bohling platform shoes

Since my older son was born 4 years ago, my original shoe craze was replaced with a steady stream of little-people shoes. Their feet grow ridiculously fast and, despite my first-born being a fairly sweet child, he is capable of inflicting major damage to every pair of shoes within a couple of minutes of wearing them. These days you’ll find me most likely wearing TOMS shoes, like a large percentage of the female Brooklyn population. It’s like a very public secret society where members bond instantly. Yesterday I went to take the trash out and these two women asked me for directions, then one of them said, with a knowing smile, “Nice shoes!”, which let to a ten-minute conversation about the qualities and merits of the shoes, which have made it perfectly acceptable to walk around in glorified slippers. Anyway, back to my initial point – the gorgeous platforms above gave me a reminder glimpse of my lust for lovely womens shoes. And that’s how I came across Ariana Bohling‘s creations, which include a small line of creative espadrilles that put my beloved TOMS to shame. See for yourself:

ariana bohling espadrilles

Ariana is a Pratt graduate who has been calling Brooklyn her home for the last 10 years. In 2009 she began a small production of finely handcrafted shoes. Two years later, the growing demand led her to start producing the shoes in Peru, continuing to use the same artisanal techniques. “We pick the leathers out for production personally and oversee all steps of the making process at the workshops we work with both in the USA and Peru.  All of the leather is hand cut and constructed by hand.  Even our leather outsoles are cut by hand.  Our shoe boxes are also hand crafted piece by piece.

The Spring 2012 collection includes rockin’ flats for everyday comfort.

ariana bohling flats

Ariana still produces samples and a small production herself, with the help of a master shoemaker. She plans on adding a small line of mens shoes for the Fall 2012 collection. I’m guessing the boys don’t get platforms.

You can find Ariana’s shoes at Steven Alan (349 Atlantic Avenue), Stuart & Wright (85 Lafayette Avenue) and other retailers across the country.