AZZUL is the type of shoe company that your feet need and want. With basics for men like lace-up sneakers, high-tops and slides and heels, slides, clogs, and sneakers for women, AZZUL’s fresh, bold colors and patterns merged with their high-quality design makes AZZUL quite possibly the only shoes that will get us all off on the right foot for 2021! Created by Portuguese born, New York City based designer Manny Rodrigues, AZZUL shoes are handcrafted entirely in Manny’s home city of Braga, Portugal. The city sits in the north of the country, about a 4 hour drive from Lisbon, and while it may not be well known yet to American tourist ears, when it comes to fine leather goods and quality design work, Braga rivals Italy!
Manny Rodrigues wasn’t always in the shoe designing business, (though if you take a look at the shoes you would never know!) but growing up in Braga, surrounded by the skilled craftsmen and artisans reignited a passion in him later in life when he was living in New York City. There are so many fashion brands out there these days it can be hard to stand out, so instead of reinventing the wheel-you rethink the wheel, and in Manny Rodrigues’s case it started with rethinking high-quality sneakers. After an unfortunate experience wearing an expensive pair of designer sneakers, Manny was appalled that the cost of the shoes was not only the high price tag, but that the brand had sacrificed style over comfort, and after walking half a day, his shoes were completely unwearable.
Azulejos are the tin-glazed ceramic tiles that adorn buildings, floors and even kitchens all over Portugal in a range of diverse colors and patterns. “Azulejos are a symbol of Portugal’s art, history, folk traditions and significant industries, many offering an abundance of blue hues from which we drew inspiration for our premier collection” says Rodrigues; the word azueljos is also where the inspiration for the name AZZUL came from. Another important reference for the designer was Portugal’s sardine fishing industry. Sardines have been a staple of Portuguese cuisine for centuries, but they represent so much more than a delicious meal. They are part of the fabric of the culture, they’re the patterns on your tablecloth at a restaurant, the shape of your marzipan sweets, and canned with every spice imaginable. Using references from both for their designs, AZZUL shoes are colorful yet tasteful, stylish but comfortable, and completely a must-have for your closet. In an unimaginable year where most of us haven’t been able to leave our homes let alone travel, you’ll fell like you’re walking the streets of Lisbon when you put on your unique pair of AZZUL shoes.
“AZZUL holds the visionary approach of honoring the past to design for the future…Our production factories were thoughtfully selected with seasoned experts to manage every aspect of our fabrication. Each location has multiple generations of families working together, passing down their skills, to ensure that our final product is of the highest handmade quality.” Merging Portuguese design and craftsmanship with a New York attitude in a fresh bold look you’ll love!
I’ve picked my absolute favorite pairs for both men and women that I know you’ll want to get your hands on ASAP! 2021 is gonna be our year, so why not start it off-literally-on the right foot?!
To shop the rest of the AZZUL styles, head to their website here!