ALL ABOUT BRAZIL
World Cup Couture for Your Feet
The World Cup doesn’t kick off until next June in Brazil, but that’s no reason to put off celebrating the international soccer event in style.
Brazilian footwear designer Fernando Pires has introduced the shoe, pictured above, inspired by the Brazilian flag. The designer hand-set more than 8,000 Swaravski crystals in the shoe, according to Leopold Nunan Soares, who distributes Pires’ collection in the U.S. though his company Fashion of Brazil.
Dubbed “the architect of the feet,” Pires trained and worked as an architect, sketching shoe designs first as a hobby then creating custom pairs to give as gifts to friends. Footwear was familiar territory for Pires. A family friend owned a small shoe factory, where the designer became “fascinated with the art of making and constructing shoes.”
Fernando Pires footwear
Today, Pires has been making hand-crafted, high-end footwear for nearly 30 years in Sao Paulo.
Pires’ signature look is an ultra-high platform style, which has earned him a celebrity following that includes Madonna, Dita Von Teese, Mariah Carey, Liza Minelli, Beyonce and Dolly Parton.
“When the platform shoes started to be fashionable worldwide, my Brazilian clients were already sporting them for at least a decade”, Pires said.
Pires’ custom-made Carnaval boots typically feature more than 13,000 Swarovski crystals and can cost up to $20,000—but they’re comfortable enough to dance the entire Brazil Carnival parade, Soares says.
A singer-performer who hails from Rio de Janeiro, Soares has traveled and performed throughout Brazil, discovering local design talent along the way. When he moved to California nearly a decade ago, Soares wanted to find a way to bring his favorite Brazilian designers to the U.S. His company, Fashion of Brazil, is a portal to brands such as Fernando Pires, Costello Handbags, Julio Benez fine jewelry and Gloss Army swim and activewear.
Soares also hosts Fernando Pires trunk shows and sells online. All orders are custom made and take 30 to 45 days to deliver, Soares told me.
So mark your calendars and get your World Cup orders in. The soccer matches will be held June 12 through July 13 in Brazil (and broadcast around the world). Tickets went on sale on Aug. 22 and on the first day alone, more than 400,000 people requested more than 2.3 million tickets to the games, according to the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), which organizes the event.