Behind The Design: The Plated Heel

Designer's Notes - January 20

Get to know a renowned Mi Piaci design feature, the plated heel, as we take you behind the design with Mi Piaci Lead Designer and Brand Manager, Sarah Street. With over 90% of our range designed in our Auckland based studio, everything we do touches many hands.

What was the inspiration behind this design feature?

We wanted to create a minimalistic yet aesthetically beautiful shoe with a subtle point of difference that we know the Mi Piaci Woman appreciates. Something that would be immediately eye-catching yet easy enough to wear both every day or for a night out. Starting with the heel was a natural first point for me to explore design detailing. I loved the idea of creating a beautiful flared heel which offered elegant lines as well as stability. The use of gold detailing came to fruition after experimenting with proportions and lines until I settled on the perfect design. From there, it's expanded into a range of heels and sandals with the same detailing that we adore.

Could you explain the process of creating a plated heel?

These heels are Vacuum plated to create the metal finish. The heel is made in two parts of partially recycled ABS plastic. The back part is covered with the upper material (usually leather or suede), and the front part of the heel is plated in a super fine layer of metal. The heel surface is primed to allow the metal filament to adhere to the heel. Once primed the metal filament and the heel are placed in a Vacuum, the filament is vapourised and a mechanical arm rotates the heel to allow the surface to be evenly coated. It’s a self-contained process so is safer for the environment and uses fewer energy resources than other processes.

What's your favourite style with this design feature?

I love Simara for her beautiful square toe and mid-height heel. I also like that the lines are both angular and minimalistic at the same time, so it creates a really bold yet simple silhouette. The perfect mule to wear with jeans or to dress up for a night out.


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