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Look Book: Shoe Addict – Beyond Trends

Why she would trade the ‘shoe of the moment’ for styles that are comfortable and well-crafted
Cura V’s Kai Lim wears a gray dress from ZARA and a black slit-front suede “Slone” booties by AQUAZZURA. The footwear line was created by Colombian- born, Florence-based designer EDGARDO OSORIO, after his stint designing for luxury houses Ferragamo, Caovilla, and Cavalli. In Italian, the brand name means “blue water.” Photo by: Mark Nicdao

Cura V’s Kai Lim wears a gray dress from ZARA and a black slit-front suede “Slone” booties by AQUAZZURA.
The footwear line was created by Colombian- born, Florence-based designer EDGARDO OSORIO, after his stint designing for luxury houses Ferragamo, Caovilla, and Cavalli. In Italian, the brand name means “blue water.”
Photo by: Mark Nicdao

Simply put, Cura V’s co-proprietor Kai Nakanishi Lim’s style is collectively envied, imbued with both timeless elegance and contemporary nous—“minimal, clean, and fluid.” She veers towards the utilitarian function of “feminine menswear,” and particularly fancies the way Parisians and Japanese dress, like former editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris Carine Roitfeld and Japanese designer Chitose Abe. Both are distinct figures she greatly admires, style-wise.

When it comes down to her choice of shoes, her sartorial sensibilities translate just as well—tastefully minimal and appropriately personal. “I think all girls have a penchant for shoes,” she says, but stresses she doesn’t consider herself a shoe collector.

“I appreciate good design and craftsmanship,” she says, spending countless hours online searching and researching for the styles she likes. And when purchasing, she knows exactly when to buy something special, following the maxim of whatever she feels is “right” and what appeals to her—sexy flats, pumps, and styles that work well with her wardrobe, mostly neutrals, blacks, and nudes. They aren’t “basic” per se, but a careful curation of shoes that outlives trends.

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Her designer favorites include Casadei, Gianvito Rossi, and Aquazzura. They don’t sacrifice comfort for style. Case in point: she was pleasantly surprised to be able to walk in her four-inch Casadei “Blade” heels all day. The “Blades” are the classic pointed pumps with sexy, ultra-spiked lacquered heels made of real steel.

Nude lace-up peep-toe heel with black piping by SERGIO ROSSI Kai purchased this pair during a trip last year to New York. It works perfectly well with her wardrobe.

Nude lace-up peep-toe heel with black piping by SERGIO ROSSI
Kai purchased this pair during a trip last year to New York. It works perfectly well with her wardrobe.

“I’m not one to succumb to purchasing a pair, just because it’s the ‘It’ shoe of the moment,” she says. “Not that I have anything against ‘It’ shoes, but if it doesn’t appeal to me, then it’s not for me. I may admire it, but there is no longing to have it.”

So how many pairs does she own? “Within my subjective reason,” she states. She knows more women who have more shoes in their closet, and denies owning many outrageous pairs, compared to them.

She believes in the power of wearing the right shoes that can make or break an outfit. “So, I pay attention to it,” she says. One can go from casual to glam just by changing shoes and nothing else. “Shoes are great indicators of a person’s mood.”

She chooses shoes over bags almost instinctively. “If you ask me, your bag can be a distraction from what might have been a perfect ensemble,” she says. “If you’re unsure of your look, leave the bag, take your phone, and let your shoes do the talking!”

If she was a shoe, what kind would she be? “Understated and sleek flat-soled four-inch lace-up heels—it’s cool and sexy without too much fuss. It’s easy to dress up or down. It’s a statement without the need for embellishments.”

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TAGS: Kai Lim, LOOK book, Look Book Shoe Addict
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