Our Story

Obras de Arte means ‘Works of Art’ and our loafers are just that, skilfully handcrafted by female artisans in Mexico using centuries-old techniques and high quality leather.

Obras loafers are a British take on a Mexican classic, the huarache Sandal. I stumbled across my first pair of huaraches on a trip to Mexico in 2022 and fell in love with their bright colours, hand woven-patterns and, most importantly, how incredibly comfortable they were. They were the perfect combination of elegance and utility. A warm-weather shoe that kept your foot covered and cool. A leather shoe that molded to your foot for a custom fit, but without a lengthy break-in. A shoe that looked effortlessly stylish in any setting, from the beach to the Berkeley Square. I wore my huaraches as I traipsed around cities, hiked desert trails, learned to salsa, and dined at smart restaurants. Everywhere I went people stopped to compliment me on them and ask where they might get a pair.

After all that living I had done in them, my huaraches started to disintegrate. The leather wasn’t the highest quality and the soles were made of thin rubber. I looked everywhere for a high-quality replacement, to no avail. Undeterred, I started looking into the background of the huarache. I learned that huaraches come from Michoacán, where they are typically woven by women in their homes so that they can both work and care for their children. I also learned that the huarache industry was in decline with the rise in mass-produced footwear.

Back in London, I met with a product designer and we got to work making some modifications to the original; higher quality leather, a luxurious anti-slip leather sole, tighter weave, slimmer silhouette, squarer tongue, a different colour palette. I headed to Michoacán with the drawings in hand, in search of the finest artisans in the business and the highest quality, sustainable leather in the country. It’s there that I met Isabel, whose family has been hand-weaving huarache sandals for generations. We partnered together to reimagine a classic and the Obras loafer was born.

Our mission is to support 'back-to-slow' fashion, help preserve this heritage craft and enhance the lives of the people who make these beautiful works of art.