I recently attended the launch of the Bared Sydney pop up store at Megan Morton’s ‘The Studio’ (read about it here). It was my first introduction to the brand who are based in Melbourne.
Bared Footwear aims to design shoes that make you look and feel great, revolutionising the ‘daggy’ comfort shoe. Their ethos is to create modern classic styles that are timeless and wearable.
I must say that they have definitely delivered and then some!
Stepping out in Bared Gull studded sandals
The range is so stylish and super-comfortable featuring on-trend designs including fringed loafers, lace up sandals, block heels, metallics brogues and wedges all in 100% leather upper and lining.
I caught up with the woman behind the brand..
Interview with Bared Founder Anna Baird
What made you decide to start a footwear business?
The initial idea came about when I was practicing as a podiatrist – I often struggled to find shoes to recommend to my patients, ones that I would happily wear myself.
I had always loved being creative, but had taken the ‘sensible’ path after school – completing a science degree, then a degree in podiatry.
I think the lure of a gap in the market, combined with my creative desire, made me take the chance and start my own company.
What’s your favourite part of the business?
There are lots! I love watching my team do their job – they are so good at what they do – giving our customers the ultimate service.
I love it when a customer hunts me down in store to thank me for the time we take with each customer, and for being who we are. We get so many lovely emails; it is always nice to read positive feedback.
Bared Footwear Faves
What makes Bared designs more comfortable than the average shoe?
All of our shoes have our bio-mechanical foot-bed in them, which is designed to offer cushioning, comfort and support. Once you wear Bared shoes you can’t believe that you ever wore shoes without it. We also spend a lot of time sampling each style, to make sure we get the right fit.
My factories hated me for the first few years, they are not used to having to sample the same shoe so many times! Most fashion brands care more about the look of the shoe, and are less focused on the fit or comfort – we make sure we put a lot of effort into both.
What’s your favourite shoe from the range?
I love our monk ‘Parrot’ and double monk ‘Rooster’ shoes. I seem to mostly wear these styles, but our sandals are ridiculously comfy for the hotter days.
Describe your personal style
Simple. No frills. I seem to live in drop crutch jeans and pants, or shorts and blazers. My wardrobe is largely local brands like Scanlon and Thoedore and Bassike.
Who’s your style icon?
I hate to say, but I don’t have one. I love bold people that don’t follow the runway fashion and own their unique style with a smile.
You’re so busy, flying back and forth, designing the range, family life..how do you maintain the illusive work, life, balance?
I have a great husband (who also has his own businesses) and he is a great cook – plus I have an incredible team. We now have 9 full timers and 7 casuals onboard. I have always believed in investing in great people, particularly ones that will grow along with you and the business.
We really do have an amazingly empowered team; they each help to drive the business, and I never feel like I am on my own. My kids are now six and four and I am lucky to have the flexibility in what I do to be able to do plenty of school pick ups.
What’s next for Bared Footwear?
We launched our first men’s range 2 years ago and I am really keen to grow that side of the business. Our men’s shoes are fantastic, but I think we need a stand-alone men’s store in Melbourne CBD, to make it easy for men to shop in their lunch break. I am really excited about the opportunity in this men’s fashion space.
For more information on Bared Footwear and to shop the full range visit the website.