Introducing Maile: Maile Schmidt’s Luxury Footwear Line
Welcome to Maile’s world. After stints in footwear design and development at Halston and Tory Burch, designer Maile Schmidt is striking out on her own with Maile.
“The goal has always been to one day have my own footwear collection,” Schmidt said. “It was just a matter of when and how. I made that very conscious decision when I was 17 and have been pretty obsessed with getting to this point since.”
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Schmidt can partly thank the global pandemic, which gave her the time to embark on a three-year journey to bring her collection to life. “The collection has gone through many iterations in regard to the design but the silhouettes, heel shapes and heights were decided from early on,” she said. Schmidt’s designs are inspired by memories of tropical fantasies from her childhood, growing up between Hawaii and Japan, a love for city life and handcrafted with “peaceful intentions” by Italian artisans.
Her debut collection focuses on what she considers to be “the most wearable” heel height: 85 mm. It includes the vegan leather and freshwater pearl Kourtney wedge; the Kitty, which is an updated take on the classic ’90s kitten heel that Maile grew up coveting from her mom’s closet; The Miss Etsu faux-feather and leather wedge — named after her Hawaiian grandmother. She rounded out her first drop with refined flat options and beaded anklets. “I try to balance the aesthetics of a city girl with an island heart,” she said.
“The silhouettes are wearable, open and light, making it as easy on your feet as a pair of heels can be, ” she explained of what she deems “the 85-mm sweet spot.”
The goal is for the line to resonate with Gen Z and Millennial shoppers. “Transparency has always been something I thought was important in regard to footwear, especially the luxury market,” she said. “When there’s a broad range of styles to choose from the shopping experience is more appealing.”
The collection ranges in price from $295 to $450 on maileworld.com. Schmidt said she is open to wholesale down the road. “It’s been the highlight of my life designing my first collection and building this brand from the ground up,” she said.
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