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Fashion & Style

Toronto designer launches new shoe line

Posted by Briony / June 1, 2011

Girl From Ipanema shoesCanada 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 ShoesThe 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 ShoesThe 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

Girl from Ipanema Shoes

Girl from Ipanema Shoes

Girl from Ipanema Shoes

Girl from Ipanema Shoes

Girl from Ipanema Shoes

Girl from Ipanema Shoes

Girl from Ipanema Shoes

Girl from Ipanema Shoes

Girl from Ipanema ShoesPhotos by Dennis Marciniak



L / June 1, 2011 at 10:23 am
Pictures 6 and 8 are particularly fabulous and I need to get my hands (er, feet) on them. She's not selling them anywhere yet?
Shoeaholic replying to a comment from L / June 1, 2011 at 02:35 pm
Yes!! Where is she selling these? I want! :)

SalD / June 7, 2011 at 02:36 pm
There is a website up and running.
karolina / June 7, 2011 at 04:21 pm
makes me wanna get a pair - or three, and a pedicure!
Tina / June 7, 2011 at 04:50 pm
FABULOUS colour!

Hopefully a success!!

Jesse J / June 8, 2011 at 02:02 pm
This is an amazing line by an incredible woman. I wish I was in Toronto! :) xo
Ray / March 1, 2012 at 04:53 pm
The site's About Us page promotes the line as offering "the 'crème de la crème' of shoes from Brazil" and notes Perla Porto as a Brazilian designer so the Toronto connection is tenuous at best.
Paulina / August 15, 2012 at 01:07 pm
Im a beginner in the world of shoe design and have a few questions on how to start exactly. Should I take some art classes? photoshop classes? If anyone could help lead me in the right direction I would be forever grateful.

Thank you!

-Toronto Madame
Adam / September 4, 2012 at 06:52 am
I really like what you've done here, really like what you are saying and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining.

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Barb Orr / February 2, 2013 at 09:20 pm
Check out this new You Tube Video called "I Luv Shoes" by Toronto Jazz Artist Irene Atman. Marilyn Monroe meets Carrie Bradshaw. You'll get a kick pout if this.
Jennifer / August 4, 2013 at 12:08 am
We are now selling many of these beautiful shoes at Balisi on the Danforth! Come and check them out. Store hours are 10-8 Monday to Friday, Saturday 10-9 and Sunday 11-7. Ask for Jennifer the store Manager

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