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Friday, January 14, 2011

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Anna Baiguera, Shoemaking Genius

Anna Baiguera

This Mover and Shaker interview is sponsored by Hunter Dixon, available on Shop with Peachy!
Nothing could be finer than to be wearing Carolina in Manhattan; we love their blazer:

Anna Baiguera has always been a “ballerina” shoe enthusiast.
Over the years this passion has lead her to create a collection of ballerinas.

Her project began in 2010 on the occasion of St. Valentine's day: she created ballet shoes that come in 12 colors ranging from the most classic to the brightest ones perfect for the spring/summer season. Presented in a cotton packaging with a care kit, Anna Baiguera’s Ballerina is in the most sophisticated Boutiques of Italy and now New York.

In July, Anna Baiguera presented her second Collection of ballerinas, Fall 2010.
Fruit and berry colours, the gloss of silk satin and the opaque of suede enhance the autumn season with 6 suede/suede versions and 6 suede/silk satin models.

Four months later, Anna Baiguera presented her Collection of ballerinas for Christmas.  And Peachy Deegan loved them:
Christmas combines its colourful jewels with the best quality of Italian satin and velvet. Swarovski jewels increase the brightness of ballerina flats.

With this coming St. Valentine’s day, Anna Baiguera ballerinas celebrate their first birthday in boutiques all over the world with the new Spring 2011 Collection.  Amo Le Scarpe Italiane! exclaims Peachy Deegan.  Now she needs to learn how to say Happy Birthday my beloved shoes in Italian...

All Ballerinas are made from high quality materials, following traditional, artisan shoe making methods: the aim is to provide the best comfort in a shoe which is absolutely flat.
Anna Baiguera belongs to a family who have been making shoes for 40 years and for three generations in Italy and all over the world.

AB's ballerinas are the result of quality, craftsmanship and aesthetic sense, combining highly skilled techniques with a great attention to detail.  We are so pleased to present Anna Baiguera as our latest Mover and Shaker.

Peachy Deegan interviewed Anna Baiguera while wearing her Anna Baiguera's for Whom You Know.  

Peachy Deegan: What is your first memory of shoes?
Anna Baiguera: Patent infants footwear: it was a present from my mother for my good marks at the end of the school year. I was so excited, I remember it like it was yesterday. They were lovely..

How have past generations of shoemakers in your family influenced you?
My family have enthusiastically conveyed me the love for detail. That's not all: this job is a passion, a business run with respect. In short, I would say my family taught me that working is a great value and we are always committed to do our best.

Will you ever make a style in addition to the ballerina?
It’s possible: I’m a flat enthusiast. I think that wearing flat shoes is comfortable as well as an easy way to be always chic.    

Were you a dancer?  A ballerina?
I practiced ballet when I was a child. I attended a dancing class with my best friend: after school, we went there together; we were very young and I have wonderful memories of those moments.

What is it about Italian-made shoes that make you the envy of the world?
Because they represent the quintessence of good taste and of quality. I think the whole world loves Italian shoes because they somehow represent people from our country: creative and fond of beautiful things.

Will you ever make men's shoes?
I don’t feel them.

If you were stranded on a desert island with only 5 pairs of shoes, what would they be and why?
I would bring 3 ballet shoes, a pair of boots (for the winter) and flat sandals (for the summer).

What other shoe designers do you admire and why?
Manolo Blahnik, because he is Awesome. He succeeded in realizing a shoe which is an object of desire, almost a sculpture, an art object, fetish for collectors.

What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence?
Passion for quality, attention to details, dedication to my job and a great determination. 

What are you proudest of and why?
I am very proud of knowing that my flats are appreciated all over the world and because people choose and love them.  Actually, there are people writing they've bought all the colours and appreciated comfort, quality and everything deals with this product. There is a big part of me in these shoes and I am very happy to know that customers feel it.  [Peachy: I am feeling it!]

What would you like to do professionally that you have not yet had the opportunity to do?
I dream to open an annabaiguera flagship store, but I’m sure we will have time and find a way to realize it.
What honors and awards have you received in your profession?
I can’t talk about career, has just started, but the award lies in the passion of those who choose my product.

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan?
The whole Chelsea area.

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan?
FAO be a child again.

What is your favorite drink?
San Pellegrino mineral water.. I’m almost teetotal.

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan?
Babbo. I’m still an Italian, after all.

What is your favorite Manhattan book?
The guide book Zagat... irreplaceable..

If you could have anything in Manhattan named after you what would it be and why?
It would be a flowerbed with fuchsia (my favourite colour) flowers in Central Park.
I love flowers: they are absolutely exciting. They dress the world with humility although everybody mishandles them. Despite of this, they withstand and tell us that nature gives us something beautiful everyday.

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience?
Shopping... I like walking in the streets, going to the shops and looking for things which allow me to have a personal, non-conventional style. 

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else?
To have breakfast with no rush, everyday in a different place, guarantees a good start to the day.

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience?
To visit little galleries of art in down town.

What do you personally do or what have you done to give back to the world?
First of all, I try to work with total commitment to ensure a job to those who cooperate with us.

What do you think is most underrated and overrated here?
I’d say the importance given to the business is overrated and the human values inside all of us are underrated.
To run a business is absolutely important.
Too many times, however, people’s qualities are less important than interest affairs, at the expense of the human dimension from a social and anthropological point of view.

Other than Movers and Shakers of course, what is your favorite Whom You Know column and what do you like about it?
I really like the “Fashion Alert” column, dedicated to labels. It is very up-to-date.

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you?
If I whisper, people understand me better.

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers?
On my facebook  through my website

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