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Fringe benefits

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  • Dress up basic lace-ups with a pair of Fringy in Skulls & Roses
  • Layer it up!
  • Fringy in Gray Speckles brings a dash of quirk to your wardrobe
  • How cute is this layered pair of Fringys in Cactus-print and Green Croc?
  • Playfully sophisticated in a layered pair of perforated white and gray Fringys
  • Michelle and Yendy love seeing their clients express their personality—and creativity—with their Fringys. Here are some of their favorite customer Instagram snaps

Shoeholics, have you discovered Fringy yet? If you’re quite adventurous with your footwear and love changing up your looks, meet your new sole mate. These ingenious detachable shoe accessories are brought to you by super-chic shopping buddies/entrepreneurial duo Michelle Hui Lao and Yendy Venturina Yu.

Michelle shares, “On one of our numerous shopping trips together, we chanced upon these adorable Prada brogues that had detachable fringes/kilties. I remember thinking, ‘Hey, this would be a fantastic way to dress up our sneakers and lace-up shoes.’” When Michelle and Yendy made themselves a pair each for their personal use, they had a eureka moment when they realized they could market and sell these nifty creations, and Fringy was born. “This is a prime example of retail therapy at its best!”

Even before they officially launched their brand, style arbiter Cecile Zamora van Straten spotted Fringy on Michelle and posted a snap on her Instagram account @chuvafinds, catapulting the brand into the social-media stratosphere. “The rest, as they say, is history,” says Michelle.

Fringy’s debut collection initially featured neutral tones and basic brights, but when the orders started pouring in, they started taking their cue from their clients’ color preferences. “Now, our range of colors vary from basic to metallic, patterns in snakeskin and croc, textures such as star perforations, and speckled/stingray patterns. We even started a line of hand-painted Fringy, crafted by our resident artist, Astrud Celina Fernandez,” shares Michelle. Next up: Tassels and fur clips!

Fringy’s designs are now as diverse as their clientele, and bestsellers range from fringed accents in chic neutrals like white, gold, and gray, to hand-painted pieces featuring paint splatters, cacti, ladybugs, and skulls and roses.

“Our bespoke market has been steadily growing; we have had requests such as unicorns, elephants, even faces of their pets painted on their Fringy. We are always excited to hear about bespoke service requests because they speak volumes about each client’s personality and individuality,” says Michelle.

The beauty of Fringy is that it’s detachable, so you can jazz up your lace-ups or sneakers simply by putting it on; what’s more, you can create multiple looks with a single pair of shoes by layering or changing up your Fringys. “In the genesis of things, Fringy was conceptualized to be worn alone—one fringe per shoe—but when we came out with the concept of layering, clients started to have more fun with their Fringy, coordinating colors, textures, and finishes,” tips Michelle.

On Instagram, I spotted my stylist pal Jessica Duque-Cabuay bringing her old brogues and lace-ups out of storage to give them a Fringy makeover. “Resurrection of old shoes!” Jessica quips.

Michelle and Yendy always find it heartwarming to hear stories from enthusiastic clients. “Binky, for example, has big feet, which makes it difficult for her to shop for shoes locally. After she discovered Fringy, she has ordered a considerable number of pairs from us. According to her, it allows her to have ‘new’ shoes each time she puts on a different pair of Fringy!” And because Fringy gives you more fashion mileage for your footwear, it’s the perfect travel buddy, too. Michelle attests, “Our client and friend Z, who went backpacking across Europe, brought only one pair of shoes, and 10 pairs of Fringy!”

Adds Michelle, “The best part of this business is seeing how creative our clients are and how they manifest their unique personalities in the way they each style the pieces that they choose for themselves.”

A pair of Fringy retails at P595; if you get two pairs or more, it’s only P500/pair. Hand-painted Fringys are P850/pair.

Fringy is available online on Instagram (@Fringy.ph) and on Facebook  (www.facebook.com/Fringy.ph). They will also be at the St. James Christmas Bazaar in Ayala Alabang Village on November 24-27.