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Stylish Shoes You Can Wear All Day From Katz and Birds

Mar 18, 2020

by Aleksa Brown

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

In our weekly Featured Shop series, we shine a light on a standout shop from Etsy’s talented seller community, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at their process and story.

No matter where you’re headed in life, chances are, you want the shoes beneath your feet to be both cute and comfortable. And whether you’re more of a strappy suede sandal or a patent leather-tipped loafer kind of person, the exquisitely crafted designs from Tel Aviv-based label Katz and Birds brilliantly offer the best of both worlds. “When I was younger, I thought the only shoes that could be sexy were high heels,” says designer Hadas Katz. “Now I understand that even the Oxford style can be sexy because it’s strong, confident, and edgy.” 

Explore the Katz and Birds collection

Today, Hadas believes that “confident” and “edgy” have many chic interpretations that come in varying heel heights: There are her paint-splashed peekaboo slides that earned her a spot as a finalist in last year’s Etsy Design Awards. There are her asymmetrical snake-print slip-ons that look just as good with ripped denim as they do with a midi dress. And of course, there’s her just-released summer sandal collection, featuring one-of-a-kind patterns she painted herself. The common thread throughout Hadas’s line, aside from supple leathers, uncompromising quality, and all-day comfort? A sense of playfulness. “Life is too short to be dressed boring,” she says. “If I can make a person feel good about what they look and feel like, I have done my job.” 

Read on for Hadas’s styling tips and pointers for finding the perfect fit, then shop the Katz and Birds collection

Portrait of Katz and Birds seller Hadas Katz

How does comfort factor into your designs?

I use the best materials I can find. My leathers are very soft, so they adjust to your foot. We also use comfortable cuts, and our heels are very thick, which means you can walk in them the entire day. I would never make something that you’d wear one time for an event and that’s it.

What are some of your most popular styles?
On Etsy, my most popular styles are more classic, like the Sparrow or the Oxfords; at my brick and mortar in Israel, the boots and the Stockholms are selling like crazy. Our Stockholm style has a special sole—it’s shock absorbent, surprisingly lightweight, and keeps you away from the cold ground. I use it with a form that gives you height, yet feels like a flat shoe. My Bermuda style also does well.

Can you share some styling tips for wearing your shoes?
My boots look great with both narrow and wide trousers, especially if they’re three-quarter length. The pointed toes make your legs look elegant. My Berlin and Tamarisk shoes are great for work. Both make an all-black ensemble a bit more sophisticated. 

Block heel leather Oxfords from Katz and Birds
SHOP: Block heel leather Oxfords from Katz and Birds, from $364
Photo by Michael Topyol
Hadas at work in her Tel Aviv studio
Orange print slip-on leather sandals and slingback brown printed leather sandals both from Katz and Birds
SHOP: Orange print slip-on leather sandals, from $300, and slingback brown printed leather sandals, from $300, both from Katz and Birds
Hadas holds a piece of paper painted with her orange pattern
Shoe forms in Hadas's studio
A pair of sandals-in-progress on a shoe form
White snake-print leather flats from Katz and Birds
SHOP: White snake-print leather flats from Katz and Birds, from $255
Photo by Michael Topyol

Tell us about your design process.
I design with my customers’ wardrobes in mind. I think about what would be flattering and how the shoes will be mixed with different outfits. I make around 200 sketches for each idea and we try the prototype on as many women as we can, getting feedback for improvements. I believe an interesting design must be properly executed, and I can really stand behind my product.

Do you have any repeat customers or buyer stories you’d like to share?
There are so many! I have a lot of customers who return after one purchase and get five pairs. Some of them get one new pair per year and some get four in one buy. Sometimes people ask me to make something specifically for them, like taking the Oxford style and changing the colors.

Brown leather Oxfords from Katz and Birds
SHOP: Brown leather Oxfords from Katz and Birds, from $289
Photo by Michael Topyol
Hadas pages through her sketchbook
Asymmetrical leather loafers from Katz and Birds
SHOP: Asymmetrical leather loafers from Katz and Birds, from $289
Photo by Michael Topyol
Several pairs of shoes arranged on a table in the Katz and Birds studio
Slip-on leather heels from Katz and Birds
SHOP: Slip-on leather heels from Katz and Birds, from $364
Photo by Michael Topyol
Hadas packs finished shoes in their boxes
Textured lace-up leather boots from Katz and Birds
SHOP: Textured lace-up leather boots from Katz and Birds, from $450
Photo by Michael Topyol

What’s your advice for buying shoes online? How do you help your customers find the right fit?

I recommend taking the time to measure your feet. I have a size table in my shop, so with my customers, my first question is what size they normally wear and if they have any issues I should know about. Every shoe I make has a slightly different design, so I also take this into consideration and if it requires making adjustments, I make them. In that sense, every order could be a custom order, even if it’s in a style and color that’s already in my shop.

Where do you find inspiration?
I design for people who appreciate style, art, and tradition. I love graphic lines and geometric shapes, and I draw inspiration from all kinds of arts and crafts and small details; I love traditional handwork, architecture, graphic design, paper cuts, and fabric manipulation. One of my biggest inspirations is nature—in fact, most of my designs are named after different birds. For me, birds aren’t only a visual inspiration. They also represent gentleness, freedom, courage, and elegance.

Brown animal-print leather boots from Katz and Birds
SHOP: Brown animal-print leather boots from Katz and Birds, from $310
Photo by Michael Topyol
Hadas at work on her studio computer
Blue suede sandals from Katz and Birds
SHOP: Blue suede sandals from Katz and Birds, $255
Hadas packs a pair of suede sandals
A pair of printed sandals-in-progress
Hadas models a pair of printed sandals

Tell us about your new collection.
This season will be all about prints! I love mixing two different prints in a single design. From afar, they look like one color, so they’re easy to match to your clothing. To make the designs in my latest collection, I painted the patterns myself. I think the result is sophisticated, well-balanced, and fresh.

What are some of your goals for the future?
My process is so visual. When I design, I have an image in my mind of the clothing each shoe will be worn with; for each photo shoot I sew a few items that match my vision perfectly. My dream for the future is to have a fashion house where I could design shoes and clothing together from the same inspiration. I want to tell the same story from head to toe.

Follow Katz and Birds on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Photographs by Ira Prohorova unless otherwise noted.

Shop Katz and Birds

Womens Black Snake Leather Lace Up Ankle Boots, Comfortable Stylish Pointy Short Boots
Womens Black Snake Leather Lace Up Ankle Boots, Comfortable Stylish Pointy Short Boots
KatzAndBirds
$450.00 USD
Black Snakeskin Booties, Stylish Leather Snake Print Ankle Boots
Black Snakeskin Booties, Stylish Leather Snake Print Ankle Boots
KatzAndBirds
$364.00 USD
Black White Mules, Handmade Mules, Women Fun Cool Party Sandals, Summer Shoes, Leather Mules, Pointed Toe Mules, Elegant Slip Ons
Black White Mules, Handmade Mules, Women Fun Cool Party Sandals, Summer Shoes, Leather Mules, Pointed Toe Mules, Elegant Slip Ons
KatzAndBirds
$289.00 USD
Formal Shoes For Ladies, Evening Shoes Flats, Slip On Shoes, Black Leather Shoes, Women Leather Flat Shoes, Comfortable Flat Black Shoes
Formal Shoes For Ladies, Evening Shoes Flats, Slip On Shoes, Black Leather Shoes, Women Leather Flat Shoes, Comfortable Flat Black Shoes
KatzAndBirds
$289.00 USD
Brown Leather Oxfords, Brown Oxford Shoes, Leather Flat Shoes, Women Shoes, Lace up Shoes, Formal Shoes, Flat Oxfords, Pointy Flats
Brown Leather Oxfords, Brown Oxford Shoes, Leather Flat Shoes, Women Shoes, Lace up Shoes, Formal Shoes, Flat Oxfords, Pointy Flats
KatzAndBirds
$289.00 USD
Sandals Women, Sandals Designer, Slip on Sandals, Flat Sandals women, Greek Sandals, Summer Fashion Ladies Shoes, Handmade, Orange Print
Sandals Women, Sandals Designer, Slip on Sandals, Flat Sandals women, Greek Sandals, Summer Fashion Ladies Shoes, Handmade, Orange Print
KatzAndBirds
$300.00 USD
Womens shoes, Women Leather Oxfords, Brown Leather Shoes, Brown Shoes, Taupe Leather Flats, Gray Leather Shoes, Genuine Leather Flat Shoes
Womens shoes, Women Leather Oxfords, Brown Leather Shoes, Brown Shoes, Taupe Leather Flats, Gray Leather Shoes, Genuine Leather Flat Shoes
KatzAndBirds
$255.00 USD
Light Blue Leather Sandals with Platform Heels For Women, Wedges
Light Blue Leather Sandals with Platform Heels For Women, Wedges
KatzAndBirds
$317.00 USD
Womens Leather Mules, Leather Slides, Pink Leather Mules, Leather Sandals, Slip Ons, Leather Flats, Mule Shoe, Pointed Toe Flats
Womens Leather Mules, Leather Slides, Pink Leather Mules, Leather Sandals, Slip Ons, Leather Flats, Mule Shoe, Pointed Toe Flats
KatzAndBirds
$255.00 USD
Black Leather Boots, Black Leather Shoes, Woman Gray Shoes, Black Leather booties, Womens Boots, Ankle Boots, Criss Cross Shoes, Women shoes
Black Leather Boots, Black Leather Shoes, Woman Gray Shoes, Black Leather booties, Womens Boots, Ankle Boots, Criss Cross Shoes, Women shoes
KatzAndBirds
$310.00 USD
Light Blue Women Leather Shoes, Block Heel Shoes, Comfortable Tie Shoes With Heels, Retro Style Shoes
Light Blue Women Leather Shoes, Block Heel Shoes, Comfortable Tie Shoes With Heels, Retro Style Shoes
KatzAndBirds
$299.00 USD
Silver Oxford Shoes For Women, Stylish Metallic Vegan Leather Oxfords
Silver Oxford Shoes For Women, Stylish Metallic Vegan Leather Oxfords
KatzAndBirds
$235.00 USD

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