• Interview with indie shoe brand Madison Harding

    I recently caught up with Hilary Rosenman and Barri Budin of Madison Harding at a trade show. These savvy New Yorkers hit Vegas for a shoe show to exhibit their new Spring line. One of the great things about working with indie designers is that they do the shows themselves. This means they spend all day in their booth, sharing the inspiration behind each style with the buyers who stroll inside. No over zealous sales people; just Hilary and Barri speaking from their hearts.

    These women, who became friends in college,  shared a love for fashion and collecting vintage. In college they bought vintage because it was all they could afford and now they shop it for inspiration for their '60s and '70s influenced shoe line.  A few years after college, they started Madison Harding.  The name represents the designer’s roots, Hilary grew up on Madison Ave in New York City and Barri on Harding Drive in New Jersey.

    Although their beloved East Side is a big influence in the look and feel of their shoes. This line feels very San Francisco to me.  The suedes, leathers, woods, wedges and chunky heels work as well on Haight Street as they do on Ludlow.


    They agreed to answer a few questions:

    Our collection is inspired by:

    After a recent trip to Nashville TN, we again found inspiration in the past.  This time channeling the spirit of the '60s and '70s Nashville sound and the legendary women of country music such as Patsy Cline, Crystal Gayle, Emmylou Harris, Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette. We tried to capture the sweetheart image they portrayed juxtaposed with the late nights they lived. This look captures the allure of feminine southern charm and the glitz and grit in the country music scene of an era gone by. The lookbook was shot in Nashville at my good friend’s grandfather’s lake house. He owed a prominent country music label in the '60s and '70s and was close with Johnny Cash who’s house shared the same lake. The house reflects the exact vibe we wanted to capture.

    When we design, the girl we have in mind is: Downtown, earthy, sophisticated, experienced and confident.

    In life we are most inspired by: B-The past, H-My friends

    At the moment, we are obsessed with: B-Wearing vintage belts as necklaces. H-Finding the perfect Fall everyday bag

    We can’t go a day without checking out this blog: Whowhatwear.com

    The best advice we have ever got is: That no one can sell your product like you can.

    We can’t live without: B-Red wine,  H-Greek Salad

    Favorite on my play list right now is: H-LCD Soundsystem,  Barri-The Smiths

    If I could go back in time and bring back one trend it would be: B-Rollerskating, H-Cloth Bikinis

    On Friday nights I: B-Chill at home with friends.  H-Cook at home with friends and family.

    Redbull or Coffee person? B-Coffee  H-Neither

    Which of your personal possessions most clearly yell fashion victim? B-Fur Coat, H-My Black Balenciaga Bag

    If you couldn’t design shoes and you could have any other job, what would it be? B-Therapist,  H-Therapist

    marysue | Indie Shoe Blog for Women

  • Neon shoes

    marysue | Indie Shoe Blog for Women

    Jill Saunders SS11'Kip' Bootie by 8020

    Jil Sander SS11

    I have to say, I LOVE neon! It is fresh, new and frankly no one has this in their closet from last year. Wearing it head to toe is tricky, but the Kip by 80%20 embraces this trend in a very wearable way.  Wrapping the base of the wedge with neon was a stroke of genius by Ce Ce Chin founder and designer of 80%20. Our site is live and kicking so don’t be afraid to drop these puppies into your cart and support indie shoe designers.

  • Let the magic begin

    We launched our site last night and we are thrilled! We set out to create a unique shopping site with an imaginative mix of shoes from the best independent designers. We also wanted it to represent the heart and soul of Ashbury Skies: our free spirit. We did it! Take a look at our site; we think you will agree.

    A huge thank you goes out to Richard and Mark, our web guys who not only executed, but also believed in our vision for Ashbury Skies. Besides being artistic, outside the box thinkers, we found your patience and can-do mind-set really refreshing. For all the times that we sneaked on to the site and commented on things before they were finished, please accept our apologies. And when you arrived in the office in the mornings to dozens of emails that we shot out during the many sleepless nights the past few months, we apologize as well.  We know we drove you mad, but we couldn’t help ourselves.

    Thanks to our indie brands Jeffrey Campbell, Dolce Vita, Madison Harding, Gee’WaWa, Haus of Price, Messeca, and Philip Simon, all who believed in our vision and bent over backwards to get us size nine photo shoot samples for our look book. We know this was a big ask.

    To Yvette, my business partner, you are a super star. Your skill and know-how carried me at times.  Your DNA is in the site and for that, I am thankful.

    We’re off. Welcome to our indie shoe community.

  • A Fair to Remember

    I’m a sucker for a street fair. It’s true. Lucky for me, San Francisco is full of ‘em. But I’ll admit most of the time the art is a little cliché. The crafts—well let’s just say they are either a little too grandma crafty or a little on the cheap and tacky crafty side. Nevertheless, I’m always convinced I’m going to uncover some great artist with a fresh point of view at an affordable price. This never happens, but that all changed when I stumbled into A Fair to Remember. I had some out-of-towners with me, so we did the whole North Beach scene. We stopped in for a refreshment at Vesuvio’s and couldn’t help but notice the artisans that were parked in Jack Kerouc Alley. Only one block long, but a well edited indie designer delight!

    A Fair to remember takes place once a month. The next one is September 18th. Check out many etsy artists displaying their jewelry, vintage clothes, cool screen prints, and more. Here are just a few of the designers that I was charmed by; w.ho made it: magnetic ring holders made from tea cups and knobs-straight out of Alice & Wonderland, Salty Fox: Navajo inspired jewelry at very approachable prices, and tina produce: cute fruit prints that sweeten up your kitchen. Check it out and tell me about the designers you discover!

    A Fair to Remember


  • The modern smoking slipper

    Matiko "Lee" studded loafer
    Matiko Lee, natural
    studded loafer, Matiko "Lee"
    Matiko Lee, black
    “Borrowing from the boys” is a theme that has influenced fashion footwear for a couple of seasons now. Girled up, man-style oxfords are still really great, but the newest in this category is the Matiko Lee smoking slipper. Think Hugh Hefner, silk pajamas, and smoking jackets. The best ones have a modern and feminine edge. We love the Matiko Lee, with mini studs, shown above in black and natural snake. We will launch Ashbury Skies VERY soon with this super hot smoking slipper so stand by!

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