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3 reasons why I designed this second shoe

Updated: May 10

Hello! First off, I hope you are having an amazing Spring. Nothing beats beautiful flowers in full bloom in this season!

Second, I want to thank you for taking the time to click and read this blog post. Your support means a lot to me in my shoe designing and making journey and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it.

My second design in my capsule collection. (Images taken by Yvonne Liao)

I shared in one of my previous blog posts in February that I was designing and creating my second design in my capsule footwear collection which is a pair of Mary-Janes and I am so happy to announce that I completed making this pair of shoes! Sharing some exclusive photos above that I have not yet posted on my social media.

So, where does Mary-Janes get her name from?

Before I delve on the reasons why I created a Mary-Jane for my capsule collection, I want to share some fun historical facts about the origins of this shoe.

Mary-Janes are closed-toe shoes and are originally known as bar shoes because of the strap over the instep of the feet. Believe it or not, these type of shoes were more commonly worn by boys in the 19th and 20th century! In 1904, the Brown Shoe Company paid cartoonist R.F Outcoult to use his cartoons featuring mischievous Buster Brown and his sweetheart Mary-Jane to market their shoes, and hence the these type shoe of shoes came to be known Mary-Janes in popular culture because both Buster Brown and Mary-Jane wore these shoes.

The classic Mary-Janes comes in black leather/patent and are commonly worn with school uniforms . Over the years, Mary-Janes has evolved from schools to mainstream fashion that include varying toe shapes, heights and straps.

So, why did I decide to design a pair of Mary-Janes?

Reason 1: Classic and versatile silhouette that never goes out of style

Just like other evergreen footwear silhouettes such as the ballet flats and heeled pumps, the Mary-Jane is a classic design that never goes out of style.

I love that Mary-Janes is a versatile pair of shoes for all occasions. You can dress up or dress down with a pair of Mary-Janes - wear them with jeans or dress on the weekends out with your girlfriends or to run errands. You can also wear them as a great alternative to your regular pumps at work.

Did you know? P.S Mary-Janes are making a comeback on the fashion runway and is one of the most popular type of shoes carried by many other footwear brands.

Reason 2: Functional design elements for the modern women

Fashion aside, I personally prefer Mary-Janes over ballet flats because there are straps that help secure the shoes better to my feet, and this is especially important for women who are constantly on the go. I want to make sure that the shoes do not slip off their feet when they are running to catch the Uber, or if someone accidentally step on the heels of their shoes on the busy streets!

For my design, I added one more strap around the ankle so as to ensure that the shoes adhere better to women's feet. This strap is removable and offers more versatility as women can wear them with either one or two straps.

The design process where the magic happens (Images taken by Yvonne Liao)

Reason 3: Being comfortable is sexy

After spending many years wearing fashionable but uncomfortable shoes, coupled with being an avid runner for over 20 years, my feet suffered from the painful effects of plantar fasciitis when I was in my late thirties. I still love my high heels, but they are now more like my distant best friends whom I meet once a year. I wear them on occasions where I only need to walk short distances, like walking from the front door of my house to the car, from the car to the restaurant, and from the restaurant back to the car again.

That is why I chose to design my Mary-Janes as a pair of low-heel shoes so that it is easy and comfortable for women to walk in all day, everywhere in confidence and style while they conquer the world.

And because it is a pair of Yvonne Liao shoes, I have to add some fancy studs to the upper for some added fun and bling. :)

After all, life is too short to be wearing a pair of boring shoes.

If you enjoy reading this post, do check out the other articles I wrote about my shoe design and making process, and help spread the word by sharing with other people.


History of Mary-Janes:

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