Wednesday, June 15, 2011

MFO Shoe Series: Em Somera, Manila

Ever heard of Plueys? Hello! I am pretty sure you have! Plueys are those rubber wellies from the UK that became such a huge hit in bazaars a few years ago. How about Belle de Jour planners? I am in fact aware a lot of girls have to have them every year.

Well for the next installment of MFO's Shoe Series, today we are featuring Em Somera who has quietly played a role in fueling the Filipina obsession for cute rain gear and annual planners with engaging graphics. She is co-founder of and Viviamo Inc's (better known as the company behind Belle de Jour, Campus Belle de Jour, Dr. Mom & Navi planners) Business Development Manager. At Viviamo, she is responsible for creating concepts for and managing the paper products they make.

Em loves anything that has to do with paper, books, and writing. To nurture her body, she does Bikram yoga.  If she were a New Yorker, I would say she'd fit right at home in artsy Williamsburg. If she weren't living in Billsburg, she'd be right at home in Portland too. How do I know? Check out her collection of shoes: Saltwater Sandals, Worishofers, huaraches, moccasins and clogs. Staples in a creative hipster's shoe closet.

Oh! And did I mention she takes at least one photo a day? Presenting Em's shoes through her lens:

How many pairs of shoes do you own? 

I sold and gave a lot away before the start of the year. Now I have thirty upstairs, four in the car, and I’m not counting rain boots. :)

What's your shoe size? 

I’m a US 9/Euro 40.

Which pairs are your favorites?

Saltwater Style 800 (The Original) sandals. My staple for the summer, when everyone else is wearing flip-flops and I want to be a little different. I dub them “My Suri Cruise Sandals”. I first spotted them on Jenny Gordy, owner of Wikstenmade (, one of my favorite bloggers. I was obsessed with these for a long time before I got them, and I couldn’t decide on one color so I ended up getting four: powder blue, red, navy and champagne.

Sebago Bala hand-sewn moccasin in red and white. When the Killers Manila concert got cancelled, just moments after getting my refund, I spotted these shoes and I was so happy I had the money to get them! I like to think these shoes were meant for me. I literally bought them for a song. And I always travel in them.

Massimo Dutti tan heeled sandals. I was so sure I’d be wearing flats forever until I got these shoes, a timeless style and a very wearable color that has slightly darkened over time, in leather that both smells and feels yummy. I have worn them with everything. They make ratty boyfriend jeans instantly dressy and easily elevate a pair of shorts. My favorite way to wear them is with rolled-up daddy trousers.

Worishofer black 562 slingback sandals. After a day in heels, my Worishofers are like chicken soup for
the soles. These orthopedic granny shoes from Germany are the epitome of ugly, but on the upside: cork cushions like nothing else, I promise you, and the peep-toe style shows off a quirky pedicure quite nicely.

Beige open-toe cork wedges. I’ve long been looking for neutral heels and though these are higher than
I’d normally go, they felt quite right, I had to get them. Extremely light and comfortable to walk in, these are my newest pair but they have high wear-everyday potential I already consider them a favorite.

If you could only wear one pair of shoes, which one would it be?

My Topshop red ballerina flats. When I wear them, I imagine I’m wearing a pair of classic Repettos--this is the closest I can get for now. :) I bruised this pair when I accidentally fell on a sidewalk in Makati, but the tomato shade looked so happy I just laughed it off. If a pair of shoes can make me feel happy instantly, I’d wear them forever.

What are your favorite shoe brands?

Doc Martens, because I wore a single pair throughout high school. Birkenstocks, because I made the most out of two pairs I had in college. Anta, because it’s where I got the cheapest but most comfortable pair of rubber shoes I’ve ever run in.

What's in your shoe lust list? 

I’ve been looking for a pair of oxfords since two summers ago! I want a comfier pair of moccasins, too, because the ones I got are cute but I was never excited to wear them again after I got three terrible blisters walking up and down Queen Anne Hill in Seattle. 

I dream of No.6 Three Strap clogs in black because these have high wear-with-everything and wear-forever potential, and No. 6 Zipper Fringe Heel in ash because the grey looks so yummy and the fringe is so adorable.

I want loafers from the Bass and Rachell Antonoff Collaboration. A pair of Repettos, or Swedish Hasbeens in red, because I can never have enough red shoes. Commes De Garcons Play + Converse Jack Purcell collab in black because I do not have a trusty pair of sneakers.

I’ve also been wanting a low-top pair of red-blue and white plimsolls from Marais USA that I already asked my friend Berns to DIY for me.

Where do you buy shoes?, Land’s, mostly retail stores in malls. I seriously envy my friends Meg and Ann and Byosh who are skilled at finding great shoes at bargain prices.

I’ve only lucked out once and recently, when Ann convinced me to get my first ever pair of surprisingly comfy clogs at SM Cubao.

What's that one shoe you can't bear to give away or throw out?

I don’t run anymore, I will always have space in my shoe closet for this grey and yellow pair of Reebok running shoes, given by an old friend, who for a time, I thought, was the best listener in the world.


Anonymous said...

had fun answering the questions ate tin! and taking the photos, too :) thanks for this! :)

cd_mfo said...

I enjoyed reading your answers and looking at your photos too Em! =)

Anonymous said...

i really want saltwaters but i can't find any for grownups, do you know where i can find them?

Anonymous said...

Hi, i think it'll be interesting to feature guys in your shoe series :) Btw i have an "imeldific" hubby who has an interesting collection of shoes :D (we're also based in SG) i hope u feature him one day :)

Nice blog!

cd_mfo said...

You can buy adult Saltwaters online at Zappos or Amazon! Madewell sells them too! =)

Thanks for the tip! Agree! Men's shoes would be interesting too! =) What sort of shoes does your hubby collect?

Kat Dy said...

Em I love your photos! And your shoes! So perfect for NY. And Tin is right, you'd be right at home in Willyburg :)

Related Posts with Thumbnails