Friday 14 July 2017


The moment you walk into the Coast & Koi studio of Caryn Wilensky's shoe emporium, you feel like Cinderella. Born of humble beginnings, starting out small, this brand is going from strength to strength. She studied shoe design and worked as a buyer for Gucci and Louis Feraud at Holt Renfrew Department store in Vancouver for many years, developing a very  keen eye for style. Her collection started out with ballet pumps and soon grew to a tall order from a store in Plettenberg Bay. Not knowing how she was going to meet the order, she has turned it into a huge success and now produces shoes that are the subject of envy. She gets her inspiration from looking at a piece of fabric, and other times a creation is born from the minds eye.  Every pair is a one on one and represents a collectors piece with an element of Africa seen in the animal print and detailed bead work. Stepping into these works of art, is like spending a day in the life of Cinderella, as each pair is meticulously hand crafted in Cape Town, allowing one to slide into it, elongating the foot and giving it a very slender appearance. Caryn now produces pumps, brogues, sandals, boots and espadrilles. The studio is filled to the brim with spectacular shoes, varying in colour and style, each pair being bespoke. There is something theatrical about each pair, and not a single one looking like any other pair. Caryn is adept on continuing her designs with an element of fantasy, with each pair created to thrill. I left the studio in envy of this powerhouse and her creations. Coast and Koi can be found at Seapoint, Cape Town. 

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