Quality Craftsmanship: Bells and Becks
"I am passionate about slow fashion," says Tamar Miller, who founded her luxury women’s footwear label, Bells and Becks, in 2018. "I wanted to create a small, curated collection, made of top-quality leather and manufactured in Italy by master craftsmen." To date, Miller—a UC Berkeley alumna and footwear-industry veteran who runs her e-business out of her South Bay home—has designed some 20 styles, all of which are comfortable and sophisticated. Prices range from $185 to $435. bellsandbecks.com.
Happy Tootsies: Livie and Luca
Emeryville-based brand Livie and Luca wants to ensure that kids have happy feet. Friends and designers Amie Garcia and Mitzi Rivas, who launched their business in 2005, make shoes with "the joyful essence of children in mind," combining comfort, sustainable materials, and whimsical details in lines for boys and girls. From leather boots with appliquéd birds to sandals adorned with unicorns (right, $58–$64), these kicks will enchant the younger set. livieandluca.com.
Heart and Sole: Freda Salvador
Designed in the Bay Area and handmade in Spain, the Freda Salvador shoe collection includes funky sneakers, refined sandals, and edgy boots-—-in short, a mix of styles both elevated and uncon-ventional. Designers Cristina Palomo-Nelson and Megan Papay define the typical "Freda girl" as "bold, ambitious, and distinctive"—qualities borne out by such covetable creations as the yellow Ivy flat (right, $325). fredasalvador.com.