New Shoe Collection Offers Aerial Designs, Past-Meets-Future Panache
By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
From classic pastel stilettos with strappy, come-hither ankle bands to trendy, sky-high platforms with luminescent metallic textures and colors, the new spring-summer collection of Mexican shoe and accessory design house Regina Romero is all about out-of-this-world style.
The all-leather, 82-model collection for women, which was presented during a sneak-peek trunk show at Mexico City’s posh Brocante Botánico restaurant in Colonia Lomas de Chapultepec on Monday, Jan. 30, and which will be available on line and in Palacio de Hierro and select boutiques across the country starting in mid-February, is appropriately titled Astra (Astral).
“The entire collection is inspired by a virtual universe in which reality and fantasy are intertwined,” explained the brand’s creative director, Monserrat Vega Aritegui, during the trump show.
The brand, which was founded in the early 1980s by Mexican designer Regina Romero and which is now overseen by her son Jorge Romero, has always been about the continuity of classic quality leather atelier and visionary forward-thinking fashion.
“At Regina Romero, we have constantly strived to find the links between the past and the future, and for this season, we have conceived a metaverse of style from a retro-futurism perspective.”
To that end, Regina Romero’s new collection has juxtapositioned hyper-realistic Easter egg shades of blue, pink, green and violet with 1950s-style patent leather shines, surreal liquid textures and bold duotone finishes.
This unabashed contrast of the familiar and the unexpected, the understated and the daring, is heightened by the collection’s intrepid use of six-inch platforms, look-at-me ultra-metallurgic golds and silvers, and glittering rainbow hues.
In a playful mockery of so-called vegan leather, the new Regina Romero line used glossy finishes, animal-print embossing and Vincente Van Gogh-inspired “Starry Night” artwork to prove that carefully crafted natural cowhide footwear can out-luster, out-daunt and out-grandstand any synthetic, assembly-line gallimaufries.
“What we have done in this collection is to turn the natural element of top-drawer leather into something that resembles a virtual material, but that still breathes, molds and lasts like only real leather can,” said Jorge Romero.
The use of fittings in the Astra collection is minimal, Vega Aritegui said, because “the main protagonist of the collection is the game of color and the intervention of the textures.” She went on to say that she had channeled silhouettes inspired by the retro-futuristic currents of Pierre Cardin and André Courrèges in the 1960s and 1970s, even incorporating the fashion of “The Jetsons” cartoons to produce streamlined, ergonomic and elegant designs with monochrome colors and exaggerated geometries.
As a continuation of this antithesis of past and future, the company’s promotional ad campaign was shot amid a lush flower garden in Tepoztlán, “where the futuristic silhouettes and glitter of the statement-making pieces exist in perfect harmony with nature, despite their duality,” Vega Aritegui said.
The lofty success of the brand’s unworldly Astra collection has already been previewed with the early release of several advance models at Palacio de Hierro, and an association agreement to begin selling some Regina Romero shoes in a high-end boutique in Miami, Florida.
Jorge Romero, also told Pulse News Mexico that the company, which already sells nearly 90,000 pairs of shoes each year in Mexico, is hoping to expand its sales this year in Europe, where it already has a small elite market share in Italy.
“We are not trying to expand too rapidly, focusing on organic rather than a stilted simulated growth,” he said.
“The Regina Romeo brand has always focused on quality over quantify, and we are not about to begin compromising that commitment now.”
Romero likewise said that while the company has stuck to its core values of handcrafting every shoe, it has inevitably adapted to current realities, such as a trend toward more flats and practical-minded shoes that was spurred on by the covid-19 lockdowns.
“We design our shoes for women, and it is those women who are — and always will be — the main impetus for our creations,” he said. “Our promise is that our shoes will never stop being comfortable and stylish at the same time.”
The new Regina Romero Astra collection will be available at Palacio de Hierro stores in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey, as well as at the Regina Romero boutique located at Monte Líbano 250 in Mexico City’s Colonia Lomas de Chapultepec and select shops nationwide as of mid-February. Purchases can also be made on-line from the brand’s webpage.