Girl From Ipanema shoes

Toronto designer launches new shoe line

Canada has virtually no shoe designers. Making footwear is just too expensive, leaving only a handful here and there. So I was intrigued to hear about the launch of a new shoe line at last in our fair city.

The Girl from Ipanema comes from aesthetician Perla Porto, who has her colourful heels and flats manufactured back in Brazil. I was dubious that the shoes were actually designed here, rather than being imported wholesale from elsewhere (a growing trend in fashion). The brand plans to start selling online at first, I heard, but the website has yet to establish an e-commerce set-up.

After drilling her PR flak about the line's providence, and being assured that Porto designs her shoes right here in Canada (albeit manufacturing them down south), it was time to check out the wares.

Girl From Ipanema Shoes

The collection debuted at the Bata Shoe Museum last week to a packed, decidedly non-fashion crowd (and a Latin band, natch). It was a little refreshing to see a sea of unfamiliar young faces, all clad in bright, high-street clothes and giggling over the shoes bobbing throughout the crowd on silver platters.

The Girl from Ipanema's spring collection is, surprisingly, quite delightful. The high heels were especially cute, featuring juicy shades of lemon, fuschia, teal, and tropic-appropriate navy and white, and on-trend cork heels.

Girl From Ipanema Shoes

The sandals seemed a little less exciting, many boasting fistfuls of plastic jewels that never wear well in real life or cheap-looking exposed stitching. (I was, however, a fan of the flat sandals adorned with cherry red leather rosettes or gold chain, and the work-appropriate coral slip-ons.)

Those looking for something trend-ish for spring should grab a colour-blocked pair of square-heeled peep-toes in hot-for-summer combos like grey-yellow-black and a nautical red-blue-and-white.

The materials may come from Brazil, but, if these shoes are indeed designed in Toronto, I'm happy to have them call my city home.

Additional photos

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Photos by Dennis Marciniak


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