From the desk of co-founder Mitzi Rivas:
You know that feeling when you are unexpectedly touched by something? Well last week I was standing in a gallery at the Art Institute of Chicago gazing at Van Gogh’s paintings of his bedrooms, and to my surprise, I was profoundly moved. I had known a few things about Van Gogh – that he was eccentric and suffered from mental illness – but this exhibition, Van Gogh’s Bedrooms, gave me insight into his lifelong search for “home” and how he expressed that in his paintings. He moved over 30 times trying to satisfy his longing and then finally, in 1888, he found it: his beloved Yellow House in Arles, France.
For the first five years of Livie & Luca, I designed from my own home and I understand that human desire to have one’s own space of comfort and also the possibility of nurturing creativity within that space. What I felt from the painting of his yellow chair was not only the peace this place brought him but the importance of celebrating the things of daily life.
I happen to love the art of people sleeping in beds, quiet celebrations of every day living. How Van Gogh drew attention to the basic components of our daily life - a bed, a chair, a pair of worn shoes – made me think about where Livie & Luca started.
We are known for our whimsy and bright color but really we began with the idea of making a shoe that is as functional as possible. We thought and still think about where a shoe will be worn and how it would best suit the playground, the sidewalk, or climbing structure, how it would best serve the day-to-day movements of a child. These paintings touched me because real life is the place from which I design. Of course, like Van Gogh’s paintings, we want to make a shoe colorful and beautiful and to decorate what is at its core, a design of function.
Being with this work made me feel like I had stepped into Van Gogh’s bedroom- into his psyche and that was both an honor and an inspiration.
Thank you dear Van Gogh,