Solid State Studios makes shoe dreams come true
WORDS BY: ARIELA KOZIN | PHOTOS COURTESY OF ARIELA KOZIN AND SOLID STATE
There is a plaza in Chinatown with secrets. It doesn’t look like much—with stucco yellow walls and lines of wilting flowers. Most of the storefronts have no signage, but what many don’t know, is that the enclave is a creative space for some of the top artists in Los Angeles.
In one of those nondescript storefronts, you can find Julio Chavez sitting at his desk behind a pile of fabric and brushes, with measuring tape hanging on him like a scarf. Julio is one of those artists that lives to make wearable and beautiful items with his bare hands late into the night and early into the morning. With a newsboy cap on top of his scruffy, bearded face and a wardrobe of worn-in tees, you’d never guess this man is a woman’s shoemaker
“Shoes are everything! Shoes make people very happy. Happy feet, happy soul—you know?” Julio said.
And Julio doesn’t make just any shoes—he makes pieces that are crafted with decadence, intricacy, and a touch of fun. Whether you’re into cow hide, weaving, or fluffy fur that are slides, slips-ons, or boots, there is no limit to what Julio can create. These are the kind of shoes that make women stop on the street and ask, “Where did you get those shoes?”
The answer is you can either pick from the e-catalogue or make your own with the master’s guidance. Each pair comes with a meeting with Julio—in-person or online—for measuring and to discuss creative strategy and, once you meet him, you’ll know every pair is made with giant dose of passion.