Clothing is a holiday gift-giving go-to (say that three times fast!) but it can quickly become uninteresting. Sweaters and socks seem to creep into gift boxes more frequently as years pass and people's gift creativity wanes. Don't misunderstand, we love a good pair of socks, but we would much rather gift—or be gifted!—a pair of stunning shoes.
In the past, we struggled when it came to shoe gifting; fit and form were added challenges to the already tough task of filtering for aesthetic preferences. But when we considered Nouf Fetaihi and Silvia Cobos, our struggles evaporated. Each offer mules— a style that is functional, comfortable, and less rigidly sized than other shoes— in an array of colors and patterns that are mesmerizing.
We begin with Silvia Cobos. Cobos, a government executive turned visionary shoe artist, shares a collection of vibrantly colored and textured flats adorned with embroidery, tassels, and southern-Floridian fire. Hand-made in Colombia, each pair is lovingly and sustainably made with high quality materials and it shows.
We are smitten with her jewel-toned calf-leather flats that are embellished with vibrant gold embroidery encompassing simple statement pearls. We own her Maria Red mules that feature a delicate and astoundingly flattering peak above a trail of wispy red fringe. Cobos combines an eye for color with an apparent appreciation for texture to create designs that are bold and striking but beautifully balanced. As we own, and often wear, Cobos's creations we can attest to their comfort and, as we have shared more than a few pairs with loved ones, we can further attest that these mules are show-stealing gifts.
However, the vibrant playfulness of Silvia Cobos shoes may not be appropriate for every lifestyle. Nouf Fetaiihi, based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, offers a collection of mules that epitomizes luxury and style. An effortless hybrid of traditional and contemporary Middle Eastern aesthetics, the mules are composed of densely woven textiles that reveal subtle texture. Each available design is a masterpiece; blocks of contrasting pattern abut each other to reveal highly complex but extremely wearable compositions. Color is ingeniously used to accentuate pattern but is never heavy-handed. Nouf Fetaiihi mules are comfortable, flattering, and offer unrivaled sophistication making them as appropriate in the office as in the grocery store. They truly are lovely.
Whether you choose to share boldly playful or subtly elegant shoes, you can rest assured a pair of mules by Silvia Cobos or Nouf Fetaiihi will certainly elicit a smile from anyone fortunate enough to receive them this holiday season.