We often talk about the power of design to connect, and bring joy and happiness, so we wanted to share this lovely story of how we came to collaborate with the incredibly talented Alicante-based shoe designer Chie Mihara.
Wendy’s introduction to Chie’s shoes was simply a response of one colour and pattern-loving designer to another. ‘I first discovered a beautiful shoe in John Lewis,’ Wendy explains, ‘it was by far the most beautiful shoe I had ever seen and I could see it was exquisitely made.
Bringing something special to everyday life
‘I love fashion and had obviously seen glorious shoes on catwalks and in exhibitions, but Chie’s shoes, although beautiful enough to belong in an exhibition, are also very accessible. They are exquisitely beautiful, but they are designed to be worn every day, which is exactly the way I feel about our rugs – they are luxurious items, but they are designed to bring something special to everyday life. We believe our rugs can create joy and contribute towards you making a happy home.
‘I felt an instant connection with Chie, even though the products we design are quite different. Once I was aware of the brand and I discovered more about Chie’s approach to business and design, I also felt a real connection with her ethos of doing what makes you happy and keeps you smiling. She also believes – as I do – that beautiful things should be used every day and not just kept for special occasions.’
Instagram helped Wendy and Chie to connect and also proved to be the perfect platform for a fun and creative partnership. You only have to take a quick peek at our Instagram to see how much we love colour, pattern, fashion and, of course, shoes. How better to showcase the glorious pattern and colour of our rugs than with an equally beautiful pair of shoes walking across them?
An appreciation of each other’s brand and a feeling of being aligned creatively has grown into a story of friendship, mutual admiration and a collaboration that comes from the heart. We provided Chie with a rug - she chose Shanghai Blossom, our multi-colour bold angular herringbone design with shimmering gold highlighting beautiful chrysanthemums, lotus flowers and peony roses - which now features as a backdrop to her autumn-winter collection, while you will soon be able to spot some rather wonderful Chie Mihara shoes stepping beautifully over our rugs and runners in our Reels.
We thought you might like to learn a bit more about Chie Mihara and have the chance to appreciate her work as much as we do.
How long have you been a designer?
‘Originally, I was a designer for a variety of brands in New York, but I went on to launch my own collection in Spain and have had my own brand, Chie Mihara, for 20 years now.
Where do you find inspiration?
‘I am inspired by the 1970s and 1980s - both eras with a lot of character, strong colours and bold shapes. I also take inspiration from architecture, photography and art.
How did you discover Wendy Morrison Design?
‘We initially received a lovely message through Instagram for a possible collaboration with Wendy, and after seeing the beautiful rugs and Wendy’s creations, we just couldn’t refuse!
‘I loved the beautiful colours and unique designs Wendy uses in her rugs. But when Shanghai Blossom arrived, I was even more surprised by the amazing quality and feel of the rug.
Did you feel a connection with Wendy Morrison Design?
‘When I first saw Wendy’s designs, my immediate answer was ‘yes’ to a collaboration. We don’t do much in the way of collaborations very often as we like to really connect and identity with the person or brand we work with, but when we saw Wendy’s designs it was love at first sight!’
Why did you choose Shanghai Blossom to use in your campaign?
‘I fell in love with Shanghai Blossom because of the variety of pattern and the wonderful details of the flowers. I love the geometric lines and even the small stars that make up this beautiful design. She is the perfect backdrop to our shoes.’
And we have one final question for Wendy – is it possible to choose just one favourite pair of Chie Mihara shoes?
‘No! I really don’t feel it is possible to choose just one pair!’ Wendy says, ‘there are simply far too many favourites! The best I could do would be to choose one pair that I believe to be the ultimate classic shoe with lots of added interest - the Volai Nude. A wonderful combination of lots of my favourite colours and patterns, and they are beautifully crafted too.’