Our creative director at Joid’art, Cristina Julià, turned up at the studio one day rocking a pair of Eva vs. María, for the rest of us, it was love at first sight.We decided right then and there to find out who was behind this shoe brand and that’s how we discovered Eva Bazán, a Cadiz-born designer based in Barcelona, who painstakingly and tirelessly works at creating her very individual shoe collections which we feel communicate on a level that is very in tune with our jewellery. Want to know more?
Eva and her alter ego, Maria, are two women in one. Two facets of the same personality that converge in the Eva vs. Maria project. ‘Eva provides the swagger and Maria the melody’ is how Eva Bazán explains her method of splitting herself in two to make a splash in the complex world of handmade footwear.
Fresh, open and a lover of the Mediterranean, Eva has set up her creative workshop in her home in Barcelona, from where she designs and models shoes that have an international following.
Her understanding of creativity and craftsmanship and her concept of accessories is totally in line with our own. Which is why we decided to interview her to demonstrate how much common ground there is between contemporary shoe and jewellery design. An opportunity to get to know her and marvel at her work.
1. Eva, define yourself in three words.
A dreamer, hardworking and tenacious.
2. Tell us a bit about your journey to date.
I was born in Ubrique, Cadiz where my family has a small leather workshop. I was always playing around with scraps of leather as a child and always knew I wanted to be a fashion designer. Having studied at several art schools in Jerez and Cadiz, I came to Barcelona to study fashion at the IED School of Design. I have been drawn to the area of accessories since I started out and have previously had the opportunity to design shoes for Armand Basi, as well as bags for Lupo, although it was footwear that captured my heart right from the start. So that’s where I decided to specialise.
3. How and when did Eva vs. Maria come about?
EVA VS. MARIA was the result of my passion and desire to make a living from doing what I love in a committed and sustainable manner. You have to remember that my professional career began in 2008 but I never managed to find the stability I needed with the brands I was working for. One day, I decided I had to start up my own project and I went to Elda where I got in touch with some of my contacts in the business and…it’s been 6 years since we developed the first prototypes and patterns!
4. Does Maria exist? Could you describe her for us?
Of course Maria exists, she’s part of me. That is my middle name. Maria is my most personal and intimate self, the part of Eva that not everyone knows. Maria represents my passion for work, dedication and love. Eva represents something more visual and attractive.
5. What are your influences?
Everything around me in my daily life combined with my individual take on things. I love the Mediterranean life and I try to express that in my work, through the use of colour and photography, creating an exotic air.
6. What is your work process?
After 5 years in the market, (which is ten seasons!) I work in a synchronised way, counting down the time I have left before I need to present a collection to sales reps and at fairs. It is a countdown so that everything is timed to perfection. While I design or we make the prototypes for the new collection, the factory works on production for the previous season which has already been sold. I work by myself from home, very happy in my own space, and I personally oversee the entire process: design, prototyping, sampling, trade fair presentations and production. As you would expect, designing is my favourite part. I come up with my three-dimensional models, working with older models that I reuse—cutting them up, unpicking and re-sewing them—creatively I feel more comfortable doing it that way rather than drawing them on paper.
7. Shoes are…
If they are comfortable, well-made and pretty, the perfect accessories to create a beautiful and stylish look.
8. A place to walk barefoot
I love the feel of walking on the chilly, art nouveau tiled floors in my house.
9. An attitude
10. A work of art
Any impressionist piece, if I had to pick one in particular it would be Berthe Morisot’s ‘Julie Daydreaming, 1894′.
11. What are your favourite pieces of Joid’art jewellery?
I like the Geometria collection, I think that’s the one I would identify with my creative line the most.
12. Which of the shoes in your collection would you put it with?
Our bestseller, Melodia, in pewter, with the Geometria earrings.
The Clave model in coral and pewter with the Sandra ring.
The Fa model in cream and walnut with the Embolic necklace.
Images source: Luiza Lacava / Denisse Garcia / Marc Medina