One to Watch: Sandal Designer Ariana Bohling

Ariana Bohling

Who couldn't use a little more "Greek goddess" in her wardrobe? Designer Ariana Bohling, an Oregon native who relocated to New York exactly one decade ago, creates perfectly strappy leather "gladiator" sandals befitting a modern Aphrodite. A graduate of the Pratt Institute, Bohling claims that every season she "was always looking for that perfect basic flat shoe and couldn't find it." So, naturally, she started making them for herself.

Of her devotion to sandal-making, specifically, Bohling told us: "I am obsessed with leather ... and I enjoy working with the small scale of a shoe last" (the solid model around which shoes are molded). Bohling, who produces all of her sandals by hand in her Brooklyn studio, sources all of her leathers and materials locally in New York City. "I like the sculptural quality of a shoe. All of the inner components that make up a shoe fascinate me."

Bohling's collections typically start with a sketch and a general draping of materials about the shoe last. "I am inspired by leathers — their texture, graininess, color." An exhaustive production process — all executed by Bohling herself, who works solo — ends with the hand application of her logo pressed into the foot bed of the sandal. Bohling's choice to use exclusively "eco" friendly glues and adhesives gives the collection an added green-friendly appeal.

The designer's personal sense of style, which she describes as "aspiring minimalist with a love for classic, wearable items," lends itself nicely to her simple, fuss-free creations. If only togas were as appropriate on New York sidewalks.

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