Long before designers at Chloe, Balenciaga and Valentino started loading up their leather accessories with heavy metal, designer Calleen Cordero was L.A.'s queen of studs with boho flair.
Cordero launched her handmade leather shoes with elaborate studwork in 2001, and has nurtured it grass-roots-style into a full line of leather accessories.
"When I first launched the collection, no one had ever seen anything like a $500 or $600 wedge with turquoise studs, and my shoes were sitting next to Manolo Blahniks," says Cordero, who lives in Laurel Canyon. "I got knocked off like crazy. I guess I kind of started a trend."
In recent months, Cordero has relocated her boutique from Beverly Boulevard to a bigger space in Sunset Plaza, and opened a second location on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City. The collection is also sold at Fred Segal Santa Monica, and 150 other specialty stores around the world.
Styles in-store now include the Cleo thong sandal with rectangular-shaped flat studs; the Prita platform Mary Jane with a hand-sculpted wood heel and brass hardware; and the Cama Sula clutch, which features petal-like flat studs and a hand-loop strap.
Every shoe has a comfort factor, including hand-molded footbeds, super-soft leathers and hollowed-out wood heels to keep shoes lightweight. And since styles must go through up to 22 pairs of hands during production at her North Hollywood factory, they are made in limited quantities.
Prices range from $139 for leather cuff bracelets to $390 for flat sandals to $960 for totes. She also sells small accessories starting at $410 and studded leather placemats starting at $279.
And beginning Friday, select merchandise at the Sunset Plaza store will be 30% to 70% off while supplies last.
Calleen Cordero, 8659 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, (310) 360-0527.