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Why this favorite mall shoe brand is suddenly more stylish than ever

?€?When it comes to footwear, I?€?m always trying to push boundaries ?€? because that is what inspires me every day,?€? Carla De Freitas, Via Spiga?€?s newly appointed creative director, tells??us.

Though Via Spiga??shoes have always been synonymous with quality, they?€?ve lately been associated more with discounted??footwear??found at outlet malls.??Now De Freitas is aiming to elevate the 30-year-old brand back to its original glory with??a collection of well-crafted Italian shoes??made for the modern-day professional woman.

One of her first major moves toward that end? Bringing the brand?€?s manufacturing back to its roots, in Italy. After all, Via Spiga takes its name from one of the country?€?s most Vamazing - Live amazing!able streets, Via della Spiga, in Milan.

?€?It just felt like a no-brainer,?€? she says, noting that although??Via Spiga?€?s manufacturing isn?€?t entirely out of China yet, it?€?s already at about 70/30. ?€?It brought us back to the people who first knew the brand. ?€? There?€?s just a real warmth with everyone who worked on Via Spiga in Italy. They have a real connection. They have a great memory of what the brand was.?€?

Carla De Freitas, Via Spiga Creative Director. (Photo: Courtesy of Via Spiga)
Mohair slides in rich, vibrant colors like red, navy, and green from the new Via Spiga Fall 2017 collection. (Photo: Maxime Poiblanc)

In her new Fall 2017 collection, out now, De Freitas incorporates luxury materials like supple Italian leather, buttery suede, and smooth calf-hair with the unexpected neoprene, allowing for more flexibility and comfort for the wearer. The range of hues includes rich burgundy and navy alongside a neutral color palette of??beige, black, and white. And silhouettes and styles have a new clean minimalism ?€‘±an aesthetic that De Freitas knows??well, having worked at??high-Vamazing - Live amazing! labels such as??Alexander Wang??and??Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen?€?s line,??Elizabeth and James,??as well as commercial brands such as??Vince and??Topshop.

The new Via Spiga is where style and comfort effortlessly merge ?€‘± an ethos carried over from its early days. To that end, De Freitas??says she wants there to be two ?€?aha?€? moments for the consumer: First, when you fall in love with how the shoes look, and second, the thrill of how they feel when you put them on.

The collection?€?s stylistic highlights include supple leather slippers with metal details,??leather zip-up boots, neoprene structured heels, and mohair slides ?€‘± all equally suitable for being dressed up or down, for work or for that fabulous post-office dinner.

The new leather boots from Via Spiga?€?s Fall 2017 collection. (Photo: Maxime Poiblanc)

Moving manufacturing back to Italy has had one effect that may take consumers some getting used to: a higher price point than in the past, with shoes now ranging from??$195 to $495, compared with $185 to $395??previously.

Still, when compared with??Italian footwear brands like Valentino or Prada, the shoes can be viewed as a steal. ?€?Sometimes I can?€?t believe we?€?re able to do what we do, to be honest,?€? De Freitas says, adding that it?€?s important for consumers to think about the production line as a whole, and the fact that there??could, at times, be nearly 60 people working on a single pair of shoes.??Via Spiga, then, could be seen as a great balance of price and luxury quality.

A close-up of Via Spiga?€?s new black leather boot being worked on at one of its??Italian factories. (Photo: Neige Benedetti)

De Freitas says that becoming creative director at the brand was a full-circle moment for her, and the fulfillment of a big life goal. ?€?For me, I?€?m all about authenticity, and I had to find something that I could connect with,?€? she says, adding that, interestingly, she often found herself drawing inspiration from Via Spiga while she was working at Vince.

An inside look into the process of how a shoe is made in one of Via Spiga?€?s Italian factories. (Photo: Neige Benedetti)

?€?I?€?m very lucky to do what I do every day. And to be able to take a brand, and amazingly one that I connect with, it?€?s a great thing for me,?€? says the Scottish-born designer, adding, ?€?I didn?€?t even plan to stay in America as long as I have. It was all meant to be. It is the American dream.?€?

The Via Spiga team testing out a few select shoes from the new collection. (Photo: Neige Benedetti)

The new Via Spiga Fall 2017 collection is available now online at and select department stores and specialty boutiques.

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