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Frances Valentine

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10 New Brands Making Damn Good Spring Shoes

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An avalanche of new shoe brands have entered the market in the last year and they are good. It's kind of amazing how they all landed at once, but we're not asking questions — just delivering fine news for anyone with feet and taste.

While styles vary from flat slides with clean lines to surrealist stilettos with PVC accents, what these collections all have in common is quality of materials and manufacturing: these are sandals, pumps, and loafers that will last you through this spring and many, many more to come. Read on to learn about 10 breakout brands (many in their first or second season, you early adopter, you) and shop a selection of standout styles.


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Dear Frances

Spring 2016 marks the first collection from this London brand and we love what we're seeing so far: a palette of dusty neutrals and deep jewel tones paired with interesting accents, like a wooden heel with a transparent center panel (see the 'Poser' mule and 'Float' boot below). Every pair is produced at a factory in Italy where the brand's designer, Jane Frances, worked while in design school.

Top: 'Jen' slide sandal, $340; 'Poser' mule, $460
Bottom: ''
Float' boot, $495; 'Spirit' boot, $550


Sarah Flint

Sarah Flint's shoes are handmade in Italy and feature pretty details like grosgrain ribbon ties and detailed block heels. Unique, soft colors permeate the mix, which includes sandals, loafers, and espadrilles.

Top: 'Helen' loafer, $625; 'Katy' sandal, $695
Bottom: 'Grear' sandal, $525; 'Andrea' espadrille, $425


Frances Valentine

Frances Valentine is the new accessories project from the Kate Spade founders (including, of course, Kate herself). The shoes have spirit to them thanks to fun pom-poms, bold shades rendered in patent leather, and carved heels that look like flattened disco balls, in a good way.

Top: 'Caroline' slingback flats, $395; 'Pauline' mule, $455
Bottom: 'Lauren' sandals, $395; 'Bella' sandal, $475


Marskinryyppy

Inspired by pop art and named after Finnish booze: meet Marskinryyppy. The brand debuted fall 2015, and counts Barneys among its stockists. Turn here for knockout party shoes.

Top'Pauwau' sandal, $395; 'Paulette' sandal

Bottom'Reyna' mule, $391'Alioth' sandal


Maryam Nassir Zadeh

Wondering where the sudden onslaught of suede, open-toe mules came from? Maryam Nassir Zadeh, a line borne out of a downtown Manhattan store of the same name, is your culprit. Find classic silhouettes that seem to hit perfect proportions, all with decidedly walkable heel heights. The brand is well-stocked in cool brick and mortar stores, but can be tricky to find online; try boutique hubs like Garmentory and Farfetch to track down styles.

Top: 'Palma' sandal, $459; 'Sophie' slide, $360

Bottom: 'Roberta' pump, $470; Penelope mule, $391


Mansur Gavriel

The bucket bag standard-bearers introduced a shoe collection for spring featuring a range of slip-on styles from flat slides to platform heels. The shoes come in a rainbow of colors in both suede and leather, and they're a heck of a lot easier to get than a bag from the brand.

Top: 40mm mule, $475; 40mm single strap sandal, $425
Bottom: 90mm crossover sandal, $625; 110mm mule, $625


Margaux

Online brand Margaux does ballet flats in two flavors: standard and custom (the latter is aided by an at-home fitting kit). All of its shoes are done in Italian suede — with 14 colors to pick from — and made in Spain, with custom orders finished in New York. The brand recently collaborated with Tome on a limited edition lace-up flat, seen on Tome's runway but available to shop through Margaux now.

Top: 'The Classic,' $175 standard or $195 made-to-measure
Bottom: Margaux for Tome, $345


Perla Formentini

Yet another made-in-Italy brand, Perla Formentini's shoes come to you from Marche. The brand launched late last year, aiming to make staple with a little something extra. We like that the styling never gets too crazy, making the loafers and pumps versatile.

Top: 'Mela' tasseled moccasin, $345; 'Siena' pointy moccasin, $299
Bottom: 'Isa' stiletto, $335; 'Patrizia' high heel, $345


Marion Parke

Shoes designed by a podiatrist? Brilliant. Everything from the flat sandals to the high heels are designed with a patent-pending insole, and there's nothing orthopedic about the brand's tassel-tie stilettos or suede pumps.

Top: 'Lita' heel, $595; 'Dee' mule, $595

Bottom: 'Janis' slide, $550, 'Bernadette' sandal, $625

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