While in New York earlier this month for the Independent Fashion Bloggers conference I stumbled upon a stylish and affordable shoe line called fibi & clo. Founded by husband and wife team Michael Leen & AnaLiza Alba, the line, named after the couple's pet cats Fibi and Clo made it's debut in May of 2009. Featuring 8-14 new styles per season the line focuses on beautifully embellished sandals at an affordable price point. Most items in the line are priced at just $49.50.
The couple met several years ago in New York during Fashion Week. Back then, Michael owned a successful clothing company and was working with a PR firm to generate buzz for the line. The PR team threw a party for the clothing company to coincide with the fashion week events and AnaLiza stopped by to crash the party. "It was love at first sight," says Michael. The couple began dating and were later married and living together in New York.
AnaLiza loved the city but often traveled back and forth to her hometown of Corpus Christi because she missed her family. In 2009 she came up with a great idea that would allow her to visit her family back in Texas more often. Her business plan involved developing a great line of shoes that could be sold through at-home shoe parties similar to the traditional tupperware parties that were common in Texas. The line evolved from there and with Michael's fashion industry experience and contacts fibi & clo quickly took shape. In the beginning, the couple found themselves traveling around and selling their shoes out the back of a Chevy pick-up truck. Later the at-home parties evolved into trunk shows and the rest is history.
The entire line is now available online through the company's website which was launched in 2010. The following year fibi & clo launched a sales rep program that gave the company nationwide distribution through at-home trunk shows. "We are the first Direct Sales company to offer shoes and accessories. We have a very curated line of unique and comfortable sandals, and we plan to gradually increase our product offering," says Michael.
Today, Michael and AnaLiza travel the world to gather ideas for their line and cite the French Riviera as the source of inspiration for the Spring 2013 collection. "Michael and I went on our honeymoon in the French Riviera, and I was so inspired by the dazzling sparkle of the water and the elegance of each city. Everything glimmers even at night. That trip really holds a special place in my heart, and I absolutely love every design that came out of it," says owner and designer AnaLiza.
The couple continues to operate the company via their New York design studio in Manhattan and also have an office in Austin, Texas. Check out this great video to learn more about fibi & clo.