Evolution: Mara & Mine
Mara & Mine, the name that took your grandma’s favourite shoe and turned it into a fashion staple.
Remember back in 2013 when the closest thing you rocked to slippers were the shoes your ethnic relatives made you wear around the house so you wouldn’t catch a cold. Way before the Gucci Princeton made flats a thing and painfully high stilettos were the casual ‘go to’. Before the likes of de Maigret, Damas and Follain made you REALLY take note of French style and surrender to the flat, even if it meant you could no longer disguise your significant shortfall of the 170cm mark. Well, while you were busy fighting the physics of gravity, Jasmine Yarbrough and Tamie Ingham were making the humble slipper a fashion staple amongst the L.A. fashion elite.
Amongst the range, the Mara & Mine Jem Skull Slipper swiftly took on a cult status, making its way onto the feet of Cara Delevigne, Kenny and every fashion ‘it girl’ we love to stalk. Now unless you had cancelled your magazine subscriptions and denounced the world wide web during this time, the trending skull slipper was hard to miss. An androgynous sole with a fun undertone, it offered both luxury and practicality in a design that made slippers cool again.
Not to be a one-hit wonder, the dynamic duo behind the brand utilised their fashion backgrounds to cement the brand as a go-to for accessible, modern designs. Sourcing materials from Italy and Spain, each pair of shoes offers a clean, contemporary finish with that distinct androgynous undertone we have all come to love. Because quality never asks for crazy bells and whistles. Growing steadily to include designer collaborations and a kids range, we thought it was only natural to talk design with the Australian duo who have managed to withstand the cut-throat nature of the fashion business.
Here we delve a little deeper into that Mara & Mine soul with Jasmine Yarbrough and Tamie Ingham…
Let’s talk about how it all started….We used to work together on shoots and in fashion shows. Tamie was a stylist and I was modelling at the time. And we always found it difficult to find chic flat shoes that we could wear from day to night. So when we were travelling through Europe together we were inspired by the elegant, minimalistic undertones of European sophistication – explained Jasmine.
Talk us through the fabrics used… All our shoes are handmade from luxurious leathers, materials and hand crafted hardware sourced from Italy and Spain. We strive for the best quality and wearability.
Where are your shoes produced… Originally, our shoes were made in Los Angeles. But reliability meant we had to source from elsewhere if we were really going to have a consistently quality product. We took samples from a number of manufacturers in Mexico, Italy, Spain and Hong Kong. And it was a combination of the latter pair that proved the most fruitful.
Talk us through the Mara & Mine aesthetic… We draw inspiration from a woman’s off-duty style, creating a modern flat shoe range full of attitude and intrigue. Behind the label is an aura of androgyny blended with class, creating a loyal following of wearers who are elegant but adventurous. Each season, we push the boundaries on the classic shoe with a modern twist. For us, it’s all about effortless style where accessories are the feature.
Why flats? We both found a niche for sexy, chic flat shoes. It’s all about a statement accessory to add to a classic, effortless outfit. They’re made to be worn by jet-setters, people travelling in style whether it’s for work or vacation. Don’t get us wrong, we love a high heel. But we can’t wear heels day in day out when we are bouncing from meetings all over West Hollywood and then out for after-work cocktails. If you are a woman with a fast-paced lifestyle, then our shoes are perfect for you. You don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort.
Talk us through the design process… Our collections are always inspired by a destination we have travelled to in the last few months. Our ideas can come from anywhere. We start drawing inspiration from the culture, architecture, flora and fauna. Ideas then get transformed into sketches and sketches into samples. We then go through colour ways, materials and key styles for the season. We go through approximately 3-4 rounds of samples before we feel they are truly perfect. This process takes around 3-4 months.
We can’t speak with the girls without talking about the cult Jem Skull Slippers…
The Jem Skull Slippers were influenced by a trip to Mexico featuring skeleton motifs, which came from the day of the dead holiday in Mexico. Tamie and I travelled to Mexico and were very lucky to experience this annual celebration, where Mexicans pay tribute to their loved ones that have passed away. We saw so many people dressed up in amazing costumes as skeletons and decorated all the gravestones; their creativity inspired us to create the Jem Skull Slipper. The Jem Skull Slipper is now core to Mara & Mine collections seasonally. We did not expect them to be as popular as they are, but they are a stand out accessory, comfortable and a statement piece. It’s also a classic shaped shoe with a modern and bold twist – explains Jasmine.
Let’s get to know you girls…
Career highlight… Seeing our shoes on exceptionally stylish women walking through the streets of Soho, NYC. We have also been lucky to have our shoes worn by models and tastemakers including Cara Delevingne, Candice Swanepoel, Chanel Iman, Kendall Jenner, Jessica Gomes, Georgia Fowler and Margot Robbie.
Favourite design: The Camilla Loafer in metallic silver
The work shoe: The Jem Skull Slipper
The weekend shoe: Montana Slide
Currently working on… Fall ’17, inspired by travels to Japan, which will launch in August of 2017. We are completely in love with the koi fish, kimonos, cherry blossoms and the way the Japanese use bamboo