The Naming Of A Shoe

Here’s one of our mary jane shoes from our current Spring/Summer collection. What makes this style special? What evokes meaning?

Friday Mary Jane Poppy
Her name is Frida, named after the artist Frida Kahlo. This shoe is more than just sweet and delicate, she’s historical, artistic, and strong! She’s a character now, filled out and imbued with feeling.

That’s what a name does and that’s why we believe in the power and importance of them. A name influences a shoe’s journey because it appeals to us all on an emotional level and opens the door to one’s imagination. We want our shoes to mean something to you, to be cherished items and perhaps even heirlooms...

So now we’ve told you how important names are to us, how do we name our shoes?

When we plan a collection of shoes, we first conceive a theme. That theme is the common thread woven throughout the process of creating the collection, from the design, to the mood of the photo shoot, to the naming of each new precious shoe!

These themes bubble up from everywhere: sometimes we form the collection around a single mesmerizing motif, sometimes a captivating place in the world, and sometimes it’s just a cool vibe we can’t let go of!

When we first started our company, the naming of our shoes was a collaborative process among the internal team. It has always been so important to us to have as many voices as possible help us through naming process so when social media came along we appealed to you our customers for help in the naming process.

We delved back into our archives to look at the themes of  several L&L collections to see how a few of our names evolved. We'll start with our current collection and work backwards!

Spring/Summer 2018: Sayulita

This collection was inspired by the vibrant colors and silhouettes of the small coastal town of Sayulita, Mexico! Think cutout paper garlands and floral embroidery. Imagine cacti, palm leaves and pineapples...

So apart from Frida we chose two other lovely Latin names:

Carmen Rosy Pink

and Rosa Milk

Spring/Summer 2016, theme: The Mediterranean

Inspired by Mitzi’s annual summer travels to Spain to visit her family, this collection was bursting with the color and warmth of the Med!  We actually shot the collection in the good old Bay Area, which has a similar climate to the Mediterranean.

From this collection we had five Mediterranean inspired names:

Athena (Greek goddess), Luna (moon in Spanish), Palma (after the city on the island in Mallorca , Kea (a Greek Island) and Cannes (the location of the film festival in France, dahling).

Athena Rosegold Metallic


Spring/Summer 2014, theme: Travel

The magic of exploration and travel was our theme for this collection. It is important to see all that the world offers and having experiences that enrich the soul.

That Spring we had Atlas with a map of the world etched into the leather and we Barcelona, a classic European boys sandal, to represent world travel and discovery.




and Barcelona



Fall/Winter 2013, theme: The Stage

In this collection, we wanted to honor the act of imaginary play in a child’s life and by extension, life on the stage and in the movies!

We named two of our boy’s shoes Gaffer (the chief electrician on a movie set) and Grip (a technician on a movie set).





Fall/Winter 2012, theme: San Francisco

San Francisco, right across the bay from our Emeryville office, has a cozy warm spot in our hearts. It’s vibrant yet mellow, it’s fashion-forward yet old-fashioned, it’s quirky yet cool. Our photo shoot for this collection took place in the city and featured Mitzi’s son, Luca, before he outgrew the photo shoots!

First, we featured Bernal, a vegan shoe, named after a beloved SF neighborhood.



We also said hello to Bay Boot, which featured the silhouette of the great city of San Francisco beyond the bay in all its twilight beauty. This is the cityscape view from our office.


You can see we adore naming our shoes and we look forward to more collaborations in imagination with you. There’s power in a name!

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