Last Wednesday, I swung by the studio of INA GRAU, a new locally-made shoe line by Crystal Quinn and Luisa Fernanda Garcia-Gomez. I first got wind of the line from knitwear designer Annie Larson and had to check it out for myself. It was the first time I've heard of a locally-made, independent shoe line in the Twin Cities, so I was intrigued.
The designers told me they are planning to officially launch the line by late September, when they'll release a small, limited edition collection of oxford-style, handmade shoes - two styles in a run of 15 shoes each. In addition to that collection, they will also be hosting occasional "flea market" events in which they'll invite a handful of customers to select their textiles from vintage fabrics and custom styles for a one-of-a-kind shoe.
The line seems to be part of a new movement toward custom design and tailoring, and local manufacturing by craft designers. The prices will run $250 to $350 for the limited edition line and slightly more for the custom, one-of-a-kind designs, but it's worth the price of getting a product that is completely unique and handcrafted, and allows the opportunity to collaborate with the designer in person. I'm very excited to be working with the duo for my own custom pair of oxfords!
See images from my studio visit below, and visit inagraushoes.tumblr.com for more info on the line.