12 Designers Collaborate To Give Us The Best Marikina-Made Shoes Yet

12 Designers Collaborate To Give Us The Best Marikina-Made Shoes Yet


These 12 innovative designers are bringing Marikina-Made shoes to the next level. 

Ever since the dawn of the 20th century, Marikina had become a town of shoemakers. They’re known for creating quality yet affordable footwear. So whether you’re looking for a sandals or a classic pair of leather shoes, Marikina will surely have it.

Although this may be, as countless of international brands just keep on arriving into the Philippine’s fashion scene today, it’s somehow hard to stay relevant and fight for the top spot. Which is why a small hub of creatives called “Zapateria” is starting to redefine Marikina-made shoes, slowly ushering a new era of shoemaking.

Zapateria Maco Custodio
Maco Custodia working on Lalapatos in high cut


Zapateria is a co-creation hub for shoemakers, designers, and hobbyists. It is intended to foster innovation and creativity in the shoe industry and to connect them to the market. In this light, Zapateria organized the “Collaboratory.” It’s a collaboration laboratory for the creatives that celebrate their diverse identities and allows each of them to learn from one another.


The Collaboratory represents a new breed of designer-makers that uphold the same principles that have been kept sacred by the generations before them. It is a constant cycle of learning for the members and partners that consist of the well-seasoned and the fresh youth—all varying in training and background.

Scroll below and get to know more about the 12 designer-makers of brilliantly well-crafted Marikina-made shoes.


Tarsimoji is inspired by one of the endemic animals of the Philippines: The Philippine Tarsier. “I hope to see one myself someday,” Mara Piñon said. “They are unique, lovable, and gentle creatures—characteristics that I want to show through my shoes. A real treasure.” The main material used for the Tarsimoji is raffia from a community in Bohol. With it is a set of digitally embroidered eyes.


The Voca-MULE-lary, a play on the words “mule” and “vocabulary,” is a mule design inspired by the Pinoy vocabulary we often hear or say on a daily basis. The shoes are hand-crafted using abaca fabric sourced from Bicol and scrap banig leather from bags then adorned with detachable embroidered vocabularies to add whimsy to these everyday shoes.

The Edge of Existence

The EDGE of Existence Collection features three endemic animals on display at the National Museum of Natural History: the Tamaraw for Luzon, the Tarsier of Visayas and the Philippine Eagle to represent Mindanao. Meant for daily use, these are slip-on sandals with platforms wrapped in abaca trimmings and genuine leather tooling uppers with laser etched animal designs.

Sampaguita | Carabao

Taking inspiration from classic leather sneakers, this is designed to be a casual everyday sneakers using the finest quality leathers. The design comes in two color ways—the Sampaguita White and the Carabao Black.

Mylo | Nikita

As for these stunningly crafted shoes, it impeccably channels the veracious beauty of Mindanao. Each piece of Mylo | Nikita definitely brings out Mindanaoan as she executed a manner of weaving malong that is quite unimaginable but was successfully done.


Magda is the casual wear version of Thian Rodriguez’ award winning design Magdalena that bagged silver award during 2019’s International Footwear Design Competition. While the design is based on the Filipina character Magdalena, Thian created a look that painted the character in a different way. The white shoes has pre-cut bullet shells decorating the straps which means purity and have been bedazzled with empowering metal pieces.


Inspired by the tribal music, dance and indigenous costumes of the Ati- atihan festival, ‘PLUMAS’ which means feathers, is a T-strap ankle sandal embellished with wispy genuine ostrich feathers and wired bead works targeted to women in favor of feminine, classy yet fun and adventurous aesthetic.

Lyanna Leisure Oxfords

For the Lyanna Leisure Oxfords, balance is very crucial because all elements must perfectly come together—from function, design to materials. By doing so, a functional piece of wearable craft that marries traditional and modern design is created.


Mia Santos has been in the industry for almost a decade. And for the Collaboratory, she debuts her designer collection for Postura. It showcases her hand-made creations that perfectly complements a smart casual look for ladies. After all, a touch of class and sophistication is what a lady boss needs on any occasion.



Primitivo is a genuine hand-made modern dress casual sneakers for active and creative individuals. It’s based on the profile of a passenger jeepney. That’s why the cut out on the side is like a window which fascinated the designer. Primitivo shoes were made with considerable toe spring and heel lift to compensate the comfort of walking and posture.


Lalapatos is about weaving and working together. The primary idea of it is to connect people from different walks of life, and translate their stories to create this collection. According to Maco Custodia, “I think I want them to feel proud and feel empowered while they wear a unique, hand-made pair. Maybe others would think this design [is] simple; it’s just mixing foil and leather. But the back story is the people and efforts involve.”

Charito | Leonor

Rico Sta. Ana’s family has been in the shoe industry since the 1880s. And as of today, Rico carries about 59 years of experience as a shoe maker, designer, and entrepreneur. With that in mind, it’s really no surprise to see a ravishing footwear incorporating classic patterns and fabrics. The Charito, named after the designer’s sister, and Leonor in memory of his mother, are both artisanal and autobiographical interpretation of the family’s beautiful design archives from their shoemaking heritage.

Get to see these shoes up close in Artefino from August 29-September 1, located at The Fifth at Rockwell. Follow Zapateria on Instagram @zapateriahub for more details.

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