Hello friends! I’m quite excited to introduce our Designer of the Week, as it’s the first time that we’ve reviewed an itty bitty pair of shoes. ZeaZooKids is a Bulgarian label that specialises in baby shoes, sandals, and booties and today we road test a pair of grey suede toddler moccasins.
There are several things that I like about these little shoes, but first I wanted to mention just how fun it is to style a boys outfit around a pair of moccasins. They’re so dapper and grown up that you might have one of those “oh, they grow up so fast” moments.
ZeaZooKids mini moccasins are made from genuine Italian leather, which is extremely supple. I found that the suede in this particular pair moulded quickly to the foot shape, almost like a favourite old pair of shoes that you’ve had for years.
ZeaZooKids primarily uses leather stock remnants (left over from various production runs) in their shoes, recycling wherever possible. The moccasins begin their life with a pattern, followed by individually punched holes (100 of them!) that are stitched together by 2 metres of super strong moccasin thread. The appliques are then stitched on by hand, with the whole process taking around 2.5 hours per pair… a true artisan approach!
The Verdict… Well-crafted, well-designed and a little bit debonair.
ZeaZooKids was launched in October 2011 by mother of three, Gergana, who works with her father, a third-generation shoe designer and maker. Gergana explains, “I had dreamed about making baby shoes, clothes and accessories since I gave a birth to my first son. I waited for the appropriate moment, because at first I was not ready and didn’t have the courage to start my own business; furthermore I was concentrating on developing my career in marketing research. When my third son was born, my father Jordan and I made some booties for my baby and for some other babies, because there was a baby boom among my friends. The interest for the booties snow-balled from there…”
The name ZeaZoo comes from a little girl in a book called “Zeazoo and the land of Boo”.
Gergana is Mum to three boys, Alexander (8), Ilia (5), and Jordan (1) who are both the inspiration for the ZeoZoo line, and the labels product testers as well. Gergana explains the design process, “We aim to have a simple and comfortable design. We are happy to know that our little clients are inpatient to put on the booties once they try them, because they feel the difference with conventional shoes. Also, we provoke their curiosity and the feeling of being one of a kind by putting different symbols or the child’s name on the shoes”.
“Our shoes gratify the needs of the growing baby feet making their first steps. They are designed for toddlers – the soft sole and flexible construction of the shoe as a whole are engineered to render a barefoot feeling as closely as possible. We believe that toddler shoes must not limit the free movements of the growing baby feet, nor deform, press on or constrict them.”
Here’s three fascinating facts about Gergana and her Dad Jordan (in her own words):
Gergana has worked in the field of marketing research, but has aways been sure that someday she will spend more time in doing what she loves most – create clothes and accessories.
Her father Jordan is a professional third-generation shoe maker and designer. Also, he spends a lot of time in producing natural honey in the village where he was born.
1 pair of moccasins features 100 holes and uses around 2 meters of moccasin thread. Each pair is constructed by hand, except for leather sewing machines.
The ZeaZooKids collection is available to purchase online via Etsy and includes a large range of different colours and appliques, with customisation available upon request.