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Designer Adriana Castro is expanding her luxury handbag line with a small collection of shoes and an exclusive deal with Moda Operandi.

The Colombian-American designer whose father operated a crocodile farm when she was a child has been making handbags from leather and exotic skins for several years, but this is her first foray into footwear and her first time selling with Moda, an online retailer that deals exclusively with high-end brands.

While Castro said she’s “honored” to be working with Moda, she puts design before distribution.

“[I spent] a lot of time, months, in the factory in Spain learning the shoe-making process,” Castro said. “We had to make a piece that managed to seduce a critical eye. It was worth it.”

The spring 2018 shoe collection is limited to a single style of loafer mule priced between about $400 and $850 that’s being offered in an array of colors and skins, from a canary yellow leather to a soft pink python and will be available for pre-order on Moda’s web site beginning this week.

Adriana Castro’s new spring 2018 shoe line in yellow leather and pink python.  Adriana Castro

Castro said once spring rolls around, shoes will also be for sale on her own web site, but they will differ from those sold through Moda.

And although Moda does not sell Castro’s handbag line, which range in price from about $500 for a mini bucket bag in leather to $3,400 for a crocodile satchel, she sees that direction as “a natural evolution of our partnership.”

Castro also has an eye toward further expansion of her brand with the addition of other accessories categories.

“For several years I’ve wanted to get out of that ‘box’ of being a single category brand or designer,” she added.  

As for what drew Moda to Castro’s designs, buyer Lisa Ruffle said she first discovered the line on Instagram and was “immediately captured by the rich colors and exotic materials” of the collection.

“The Moda woman loves vibrant colors and exotic skins — Adriana Castro’s line offers all of this,” Ruffle said. “[The Moda woman] also loves product that no one else has. To offer her something truly unique, we worked with the brand to develop exclusive colorways for this trunk show.”

Ruffle pointed to a python mule in olive green and another in pink as the result of Moda’s collaboration with Castro.

Mules appear to have taken hold again in the women’s shoe market after resurfacing as a trend in 2015, and Ruffle said the style is “absolutely a key wardrobe staple for our woman.”

As such, Moda feels confident that Castro’s shoes will be well received when pre-orders begin.

“Color, exotics and mules always sell exceptionally well for us so we feel very confident about the success of this trunk show,” Ruffle said. “From past results, we know it’s something [our shopper is] looking for.”

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