As Nancy Dong sees it, eco-stylish footwear is the “sophisticated grown-up sister to the old crunchy granola hippie sandals”. The young designer behind Kailia Italian footwear is both a longtime vegetarian and a veteran in the fashion business. Having already created looks for BCBG Max Azria, Ermenegildo Zegna, Charmone Shoes, and Shoes with Souls, we’ll trust this woman with our feet any day.
Nancy moved to Italy and invented Kailia under the principles of cruelty-free and sustainable practices. According to the website, the factories pay fair wages and the company strives to run a “transparent and honest business”. All shoes are handmade in Italy, using water-based glues, chrome-free recycled leather soles, pre-consumer recycled footboards, and animal-free uppers. And what’s more, hemp, organic cotton, and microfiber make for breathable lining. With fun, quirky designs meant to add an air of frivolity to your feet, we’d say Kailia is truly green, from the inside out.
Note: Starting in Spring ’09, the Kailia line will be entirely vegan.