Amazed by her unique style, we started to ask her about her life and very personal style and today, after recently meeting with Manuela again, we're presenting her as one of the designers of the very creative Turin fashion scene!
If it is true that our destiny is shaped by the environment we grow up in and our passions, Manuela Gomez is the best example! Originally from Colombia, she grew up to a photographer father and a painter mother; since she was a toddler, Manuela played on the floor with clay and colors, while her mom painted. This is when she made her first sculpture: a basic shoe - with a heel!, a sign that will mark her career and way of life.
A few years later, she started playing with the camera, taking pictures of her classmates, summer vacations and assisting her father in their house darkroom where the magic happened: with some chemicals, simple white paper slowly became pictures.
Fashion and style stayed in her blood up to college where she graduated in fashion industrial design with a project that involved the creation of a luxury swimsuit brand. Thanks to this project she found her first job at an underwear company for seven years.
Manuela's love affair with Italy started during those seven years when she took a sabbatical in Rome to learn Italian, painting and sculpture. She finally landed in Turin following her heart and it was here that she completed her education with a masters and a specialization in fashion, marketing and photography.
It's been now ten years that Manuela Gomez has been living and working in Turin, portraying a unique side of the Italian artistic legacy. So what does Manuela exactly do?
Manuela has one of the most envied jobs by women all over the world: she's a shoe designer!
Since the little clay pump she made as a toddler, she's always had the bug for shoes.
Before finding the team of artisans who supported her life mission, Manuela made sculptures of shoes in clay and even decorated them. Deep down though, she aimed to give life to the shoes she dreamed of wearing herself, one of a kind pairs, out of the mass production models in local and long lasting materials.
This is how her career as Turin shoe designer has started: at first she created the shoes she was wearing and as people asked her where she had bought them, she started taking orders!
The demand for her shoes grew quickly, she registered her trademark Manuela Gomez and her shoe business became true!
Manuela's shoes are indeed art masterpieces. As Turin is the Italian 18th century city par excellence, she basks in this atmosphere finding inspiration in the 18th century Italian fabrics used as upholstery, curtains and wall paper. To her, shoes are a piece of Italian history you can always carry with you and match with your other clothes to make it contemporary, elegant or casual according to your needs.
Having grown up among the antiques her grandmother dealt in, Manuela believes that life is too short to be deprived of beauty and joy. Nice things shouldn't be reserved for few occasions a year or in a lifetime, but rather enjoyed on a daily basis. Nice things make our life special - she says and this is exactly what her shoes and accessories convey.
To break out of the quick paced market constraints, Manuela follows her inner pace, she researches within herself what she feels like creating. Like a sculptor, she gives life to her shoes according to the texture and color of the leather of fabrics she intend to work.
The mix of design, texture and color is what makes her shoes really unique. She aims to make her shoes the protagonists of an outfit to indicate the choice power of the wearer, her nature and taste.
In Manuela's fashion aesthetics, shoes and accessories are the eternal pivot around which clothes rotate and alternate style.
This is why she doesn't like a particular fashion style but rather classic shapes always in style. Everything in our lives can change but Manuela's shoes and other accessories.
In fact, besides shoes she also designs purses, belts, ipad and iphone covers and she has also recently started a men's shoe line.
Manuela's purses and clutches usually follow the style of her shoes and can be mixed and matched. She also reinterprets classic bag designs with her own unique style and always with the help her team of local artisans.
Her artistic vein though, doesn't stop at her shoes, accessories and dreams of creating her own label chain stores in the world's fashion capitals because over the years, following her daddy's passion, Manuela has also become a popular photographer.
Yet, of all the arts she's been practicing in the last ten years, her passion for shoes overpowers everything else and, first and foremost, she feels a shoe designer. Heels are just beautiful! - her eyes are glisten as she's saying it - they make you taller, sexier, thinner. Heels are the essence of female elegance and they also make you feel good!
Working at a men's shoe line has definitely been a challenge, however, not has big as having to renounce to her beloved heels when rushing on the Turin's downtown cobblestones. Having to drive everywhere as she used to do back home, is what she misses most of Colombia. In fact, enjoying an apartment in the historical heart of downtown Turin, Manuela doesn't need to drive much as she can easily walk to most of the locations where she works, however, the cobblestones would put at risk her artisanally made shoes.
Now you know it, mark Manuela Gomez down, visit www.manuelagomez.com and dream of wearing her one of a kind shoes or purses, and rest reassured that she personally signs each single piece herself;)