By Tomboy KC | Photography courtesy of Freda Salvador
We have been lusting afterFRĒDA SALVADOR for some time now. The footwear is handmade in Spain from authentic Spanish & Italian leathers and features menswear inspired classics such as a d’Orsay oxford, slip on mule and mid heel boots. Basically everything we stand for, right? We’ll take one of each.
The success of the line is no surprise once you meet co-Founders, Megan Papay & Cristina Palomo-Nelson. Megan previously worked in the celebrity styling department of Calvin Klein, while Cristina was born into the largest shoe-making family in South America (how’s that for a pedigree). The two met while designing footwear at Anya Lui and their mutual adoration of confident, female figures such as Frida Kahlo & the creative legacy of handmade products resulted in the establishment of FRĒDA SALVADOR. All we have left to say is thank god.
TKC: We are obsessed with the FRĒDA SALVADOR aesthetic. How did the line come about?
MP & CPN: We met while working on the design team of another footwear company whose focus was comfort. The shoes were beautifully made in Italy, but the look was more mature. We started FRĒDA because we wanted to develop a line of shoes that had the fit and wearability component, but with a young, modern, urban point of view.
TKC: Why footwear?
MP: Cristina grew up in a family of shoe makers, so it’s in her blood. I also have always had a thing for shoes…they were my first purchase on all back-to-school shopping trips with my mom. I guess I dress from the ground up.
TKC: We know if we had to work with friends, we would probably end up spending more time in the therapists chair than at work. How do you work together to create such a harmonious collection?
MP & CPN: Our relationship began as co-workers which developed quickly to friends and now we are family. Our relationship was built on trust, honesty and respect. We put each other and FRĒDA first, which makes it pretty easy to get along! Starting a business is intense at most times, so we feel comfort in having each other.
Regarding design, our personal styles are so different, but we feel that is our strength. If we are both putting our energy into a shoe, from two totally different points of view and we both love it, we know it’s a winner.
TKC: Did you consider calling the collection anything else and/or how did you arrive at the name?
MP & CPN: Originally we were thinking just FRĒDA, but then decided we wanted her to have a last name too. FRĒDA is from Frida Kahlo…we both love her strength and outlook. SALVADOR is from El Salvador, where Cristina is from. Our first collection was made at her family’s factory there, which was unbelievably special.
TKC: How would you describe your personal style?
CPN: I tend to stick with more tailored, clean, lines.
MP: I am more tomboy/bohemian and love anything oversized. I like to mix prints or textures.
TKC: Day to day, what are you wearing? Do you have a work uniform of sorts?
CPN: I live in denim, tees, button downs and blazers, layering in jewelry and of course shoes to make my statement.
MP: Boyfriend jeans and something printed, then something printed on top of that.
TKC: Is there a particular designer or look that you tend to favor?
CPN: Right now I am really inspired by vintage Ferragamo and Bally.
MP: I am on a big vintage kick as well. Anything 70’s 80’s. Or current Delpozo, Gucci, and Dries van Noten.
TKC: On the flipside, are there any trends that you absolutely loathe?
CPN: I am not the biggest fan of the athleisure trend. Some things are really cute, but not as a daily uniform.
TKC: What is one item that is safe to buy on a budget?
MP & CPN: T-Shirts.
TKC: One worth splurging on?
MP & CPN: Shoes or handbags. Things that will last and be in your closet season after season.
TKC: What is the lost song you had playing on your iPod/iPhone?
MP: The RENT soundtrack.
CPN: Gary Glark Jr.
TKC: Coffee or tea?
MP & CPN: Coffee!
TKC: Mascara or Lipstick?
MP & CPN: Mascara.
TKC: Instagram or twitter?
MP & CPN: Instagram
TKC: In high school you would have been voted most likely to…
CPN: Become a fashion designer.
MP: Go off the grid and join a compound….in Hawaii.
Our personal styles are so different, but we feel that is our strength. If we are both putting our energy into a shoe, from two totally different points of view and we both love it, we know it’s a winner.
In the post:
All footwear is by FRĒDA SALVADOR