“Superga has done many collaborations with fashion designers and I realised that it was time to step it up a notch by working with a jewellery designer. Besides, I have always been a fan of Katherine’s and have a few pieces that I wear endlessly. One of my wardrobe staples is the PICHULIK Peacock neckpiece which I wear with my black 2790 Superga platforms.”

So says PICHULIK fan and Superga marketing manager Katy Ward, who initiated the label’s latest South African collaboration with Katherine-Mary Pichulik, PICHULIK’s founder and designer.

“The idea that these two brands could work in one piece and not just one outfit inspired me to get in touch with Katherine and that was the beginning of a fun, original and seamless creative process!” says Ward. “It felt like an inspired co-design rather than a redesign.”

True to PICHULIK’s design ethos, the designs are very much about the stories of the women who wear the brand as well as the women who make up the brand. This collaboration is born from this and pays homage to three cities that have played an important role in PICHULIK’s evolution as a brand. Each style is designed to encapsulate the nostalgia of one of these cities with their sun, sea and streets.

THE SHOES

“Souk” celebrates the magic of Istanbul, its vibrant, abundant markets and the colourful street life after sunset during Ramadan. The rose gold, nudes and brass embellishments echo Turkish women’s traditional dress and jewellery.

As a result, the espadrille- based platforms are decorated with a delicate ankle bracelet. Pichulik says it echoes “the bells that often make up part of Turkish women’s jewellery and the glittering ornamentation in streetside shops”. The rope soles are a nod to the woven baskets used to carry spices and flowers, and the raffia – like rope used to hang chillies to dry.

“Azzuro” speaks of Portofino’s laid-back, classic style with sunny yellows and nautical blues and whites – the timeless colours of the Italian seaside, inspired by Superga’s Italian heritage. The classic look is reminiscent of the Amalfi coast in the ’50s and Pichulik’s use of rope further enhances its nautical appeal. “The rope loop at the back makes you want to hook your fingers through it and step onto a yacht at sunset,” Pichulik says.

The “Downtown” style’s punchy black and gold design is all about the city, and New York in particular. It is for the pedestrian, the daily commute, amid the grind of a melting pot of cultures. Here, Pichulik used braided rope to signify the many braiding shops in Brooklyn while gold accents mimic the hoops and medallions that are emblematic of street accessories. Downtown and Souk are designed as women’s shoes while Azzuro is unisex and therefore will be available up to size 44.

Superga x PICHULIK designs will be available from mid-March at Superga concept stores nationwide and the Superga online store www.supergashop.co.za and the prices will range from R1099 to R1 499.