Custom Artisan Leather Footwear by Soul Path Shoes

I just love perusing through Etsy sometimes, and looking at the favorite shops and items of my favorite sellers…you never know what new awesomeness you might find! It just blows my mind how some of these amazing brands don’t get the recognition they deserve, but that, as I’m sure you know, is one main point of my blog. Every year after feeling fresh and inspired by the open and limitless creativity behind Lucidity Festival (and the vendors, especially), I’m always digging even deeper into the nooks and crannies of the internet to find even more independent artists to feature here or inspire me into any possible future creative ventures. There is some ridiculously impressive stuff out there!

One of my most recent finds is Soul Path Shoes, a Canadian brand run by artisan Nathan deBridge Bowes, who specializes in custom moccasins and sandals. I mean, these pieces speak for themselves…just look at the detailing! Long ago, Nathan was inspired by searching far and wide for the perfect handmade artisan footwear that was unique, comfortable and natural, to no avail. So, he was inspired to venture on his own path into creating his own, and mirrors genuine ancient practices and pours a ton of love, patience and skill into his work. From sharpening and maintaining his his tools (like tuning an instrument, as he says) to taking the risk of tedious custom fitting, Nathan stays true to his strong beliefs on the real value of old fashioned hard work, quality and customer satisfaction which is becoming more of a rarity these days.

Nathan uses supersoft 8-9 ounce buffalo leather for the main body and trim of his footwear which is 2-3 times thicker than regular leather. He also implements a traditional moccasin full leather outer sole with a Vibram rubber sole as an option, and a removable insole of wool felt and orthotic cushioning on a leather base. Every item comes with your choice of buttons (with several beautiful metal pieces to choose from) and main color, trim and heel cap colors. Other options include additional arch support, extra trim layers, added piping, leather or Arbutus wood buttons, cuffs, other custom artwork, and so much more! How gorgeous are these?! For the amount of work and custom options put into these, I’d say they are also priced incredibly well, at around $300-$600 before any custom options are included. Honestly, I’d just buy what I see right off the virtual racks.

Here are some of the moccasins and boots that catch my eyes the most from Soul Path Shoes! As usual with most of these talented artisans I discover, it was tough to narrow it down.

“For years I searched for real artisan footwear. I knew what I was looking for: A handmade leather sandal, shoe, boot or moccasin that was unique, natural, and comfortable; classic leather footwear with timeless beauty and functional elegance. Where did I find it? I found the heart of the craft in the pride of craftsmen of days gone by, I found ideas in the functional designs of ancient civilizations… But no one I could find was making what I longed to find. Or at least not yet… It was then I knew I was on the right path, a path of discovery and creation, and a path with Soul.”

“I love the work I have chosen to do… It is a pleasure for me to work with beautiful, soft leather, and to feel a good tool in my hands as I connect with an ancient tradition of sandal, boot, and moccasin making. I love old, quality tools, and handmade tools and knives the most, as they ring with quality and carry the energy of the maker.”

“It is a skill to learn to sharpen a blade for the task at hand; akin to tuning an instrument – it cultivates patience and presence of mind, and good work may be produced only once the tool is finely honed, as good music will only be produced once the instrument is finely tuned.”

“Making good footwear is difficult, and a custom fitting is more demanding still. One need not wonder for long why this trade and these skills have nearly disappeared – it is hard work, and risky in this day and age. So I am taking the risk of doing what I believe in because I know the value of real quality, and in this modern desert where people are beginning to feel the thirst for quality, some of us are creating an oasis.”

Take a look into the beautiful artistry that makes up Soul Path Shoes.

Shop Soul Path Shoes on Etsy here or the official website, here (where you can also read up a lot more about them).

Olive Green is the Color of Spring

I know, I was just as surprised as you are, I guess. Usually Fall is the time for earthy, neutral colors such as browns, burgundies, and olive greens…but I’ve seen more than one retailer pushing the latter as a new Spring color. I’m fine with it, as I’m not much of a bright pastelley color person at all, and olive happens to be one of my favorite colors. It’s nice to find more toned down alternatives! Most people probably associate olive green as a military shade, and military pieces are indeed included in these new Spring marketing campaigns. They are also usually more lightweight which offers more breezy options for the warmer weather!

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New Detailed Denim for Spring by 7 For All Mankind

Spring is here and it’s the time to remove those extra layers and have a little more fun with our everyday style again. At least that’s how I see it…I can now stash the boots and show off those cute hems on my jeans, or wear a wider variety of jeans with different lengths to have a little more fun with footwear. You’ve already seen plenty of embroidery on the market (see my embroidered jackets post), which came in strong this past Fall but is still sticking around with more beautiful floral designs for the new warmer season. Denim is made for creativity and is an art form on its own, so there are so many other fun possibilities and available detailing to help you build up your Spring wardrobe this year!

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New Unisex Designs from Skingraft

New Unisex Designs from Skingraft

Image: Skingraft

I’m sure you’ve all noticed that the gender-neutral, unisex thing has been spreading across the apparel world lately, and I say why not? Fashion, design and creativity have way too many possibilities to be confined within boxes! From H&M to denim brands to even Coach, brands are realizing consumer demands to not have their tastes limited to a specific category or be defined by a certain style. Personally, I feel this works best when it comes to modern, minimalistic designs, such as the dark, music-inspired Los Angeles brand Skingraft. I wrote about them about a year and a half ago and I’m still enjoying each of their newsletters that grace my inbox, watching (and coveting) every new collection they release!

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Five Sustainable or Ethical Designer Brands on Shopbop

The designer fashion world is often seen as self-serving, shallow, snooty and of course, gosh darn expensive…and I don’t often write about it because I know it’s a bit beyond my, and most people’s, reach. However, I do admire the creativity that goes into many of these brands, and I also like getting to the bottom of truth. Not all high end brands recklessly pursue the almighty dollar—there are definitely a lot to give shoutouts to. Some brands started off with sustainability or other ethical initiatives in mind, and some make the switch later as awareness grows and they become more mindful of their footprint on this planet. No matter the price point, I like to give coverage to a brand that realizes resources are finite, or that human rights are important. If you happen to be one that adorns your closet with designer goods but are looking to shop a little more guilt-free, then this post is perfect for you!

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The Nomads Hemp Wear Spring and Summer 2017 Collection

Hello all! So I’m back from Lucidity Festival, and I gotta say it’s ridiculously tough to get back into the swing of things after that. I feel so refreshed, relaxed, and pretty inspired in a few other creative avenues I’ve been curious about exploring! One of which is apparel, thanks to all of the beautiful, unique, independent clothing vendors I shopped at the festival (right up my alley and a common subject on my blog). So, I think it’s only fitting I slowly rev back up my blog momentum with a post within that subject!

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Embroidered Denim Jackets for Spring

First off, this is a bit of a crazy week for me, since my yearly April destination, Lucidity Festival, is this weekend! I won’t be posting again until sometime next week (maybe later, to allow for a little decompression). It’s definitely a much-needed vacation, and a great time to enjoy welcoming in the Springtime! Also, I’ll be DJing this time around, so I am super excited!

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