Alexandre Birman spring summer 2023 collection, shoes inspired by Brazil – Footwear News

Arezzo & Co. may be in a global expansion mindset. But when it comes to his luxury shoe brand Alexandre Birman, it’s all about his return to Brazil.

He proved it with his latest collection for Spring Summer 23, which the brand and Arezzo CEO and eponymous designer Alexandre Birman recently presented at Paris Fashion Week.

Using the small fishing village of Itapua (and the northeast state of Bahia in which it is located) as both inspiration and a source of craftsmanship, the brand enlisted a group of women artisans to create a series of hand-woven details on shoes for a collection that showcases the best of Brazilian artistry and techniques threatened by the kind of intergenerational extinction seen in artisanal craftsmanship.

“We wanted to find an institution that needed this visibility,” said Guilherme Cury, global chief designer at Alexandre Birman. “The craftsmen work according to the tide, in the morning they collect the shells then in the afternoon they meet to make the lace.”

Cury and the design team at Birman worked with an octogenarian artisan named Maria and her group of artisans to create a series of styles that showcase different handmade textile works. A significant portion focuses on bobbin lace, a delicate braiding technique first used in 15th-century Europe and which has since found popularity among Brazilian artisans such as Maria. Lace work is used as embellishment (with a crochet-like softness) on the toe of strappy heeled sandals as well as in a more delicate form in sheer cutouts on another style of sandal. A series of sandals woven with smooth natural fibers are made with straw leaves from trees native to Saubara, which are also woven by hand by the group of artisans.


A Spring/Summer 2023 Alexandre Birman heeled sandal with a rope pattern inspired by the Itapua fisherman in the Bahia region of Brazil.

CREDIT: Rafa Garcia


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An ankle sandal made of hand-woven straw, sourced from trees native to the town of Saubara in the Bahia region of Brazil, where Alexandre Birman brought in a team of local artisans to work on handcrafted details for the spring-summer 2023 collection.

CREDIT: Rafa Garcia

Other styles refer to the tools of craftsmanship. The brand’s best-selling strappy Clarita sandal has been reimagined in a delicate vintage floral patterned fabric, similar to those used on the bolster cushions that artisans used when weaving with the bobbin tools.

Each band in the collection also evokes the beachy-boho lifestyle that Itapua has been known for since the 60s and 70s (when the song “Tarde Em Itapua” popularized the place), ankle ties inspired by fisherman’s rope heels that are actually covered in a layer of shimmering sand. A series of sneakers use vintage coffee sack burlap as a nod to the country’s most famous export.


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For Spring ’23, Alexandre Birman’s best-selling Clarita sandal has been reimagined in a vintage floral fabric, similar to those found on the bolsters artisans used when creating bobbin lace (also present in the collection).

CREDIT: Rafa Garcia

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