Afura and Paracia crossed paths on the vibrant streets of Paris last summer. Knu's remarkable shoes immediately captured our attention, footwear we hadn't seen before. We got to know Knu and his Madrid-based footwear brand Paracia and decided to bring some styles back to Amsterdam. Check out the full Paracia selection here and read more about the brand's history, Knu's favourite shoe design, office routines, must-visit spots in Madrid & more.
For those who don’t know, who are the people behind Paracia?
Paracia was started by myself (Knu) and Bene, childhood friends from a city called Busan in Korea. I’ve been rooted in Europe for the past 16 years, Bene is now in Korea but had lived in China for more than a decade before. I've dabbled in various pursuits throughout my career, but these days, my focus is on steering the ship of Paracia, occasionally taking refuge in my other passion, photography. Bene has always been in the fashion industry’s manufacturing and design field.
What or who inspired you to start a footwear brand?
Growing up with a deep fascination for clothing, the idea of starting our own business took shape during my time at a design studio. Despite not having a formal education in fashion, my interest led me to dive into footwear. It seemed more product-oriented, and with a gap in the market for independent shoe brands, we saw an opportunity to make our mark
Can you talk me through a day at your office and/or store? (morning rituals, music, lunch, etc.)
Our space in Madrid is not just a store but a studio too. Mornings kick off with prepping the store and brewing coffee for customers and the team. With part of our crew in Asia, the morning (even before we open the store) is filled with discussions on design and production. We handle all our branding in-house, from photography to graphic design, so we start doing that in Madrid. Despite being a small team, we manage to grab a quick lunch in-store, keeping the energy high for the day ahead. It's a bustling mix of global connections and local creativity at Paracia.
Which model from our selection is your personal favorite and why?
Picking a favorite is tough, but the D-Type 01 Rough Mohawk Champagne is my go-to from the current collection. Unlike the usual dark color vibe of leather shoes, this one's got a chill whitish color with long-hair suede, adding some texture. I love wearing them with my blue or black jeans whenever I need something different from a pair of sneakers but staying casual and cool. You can check and try them in Afura!
Paracia uses deadstock leather and works with the best tanneries, how important is making decisions with low environmental impact for you as a company?
We're aware of the lasting impact that creating a new pair of shoes can have. Our aim revolves around two key principles. Firstly, we strive to craft shoes that can endure a lifetime with proper care and can be easily repaired. That's why our shoes typically feature Goodyear or stitch-down constructions, allowing for eventual resoling – a nod to the timeless tradition of classic footwear. Secondly, leveraging our factory capabilities, we make use of leftover premium leather from renowned tanneries like Horween, CF Stead, or Maryam. This not only ensures top-notch quality but also enables us to produce in small volumes that we can manage effectively. It's a unique feat for a small brand to offer a diverse range of products while making a positive contribution to the environment.
You recently expanded your collection with a ripstop cap, what type of product would you love to develop in the future?
In our pursuit of "Enchant The Mundane," we're not just focusing on visually capturing ordinary moments but also infusing them into our products. The latest addition is a new shoe model inspired by construction work aesthetics, characterized by a slightly bulkier build and a rounded last with a curved outsole. Looking ahead, we're envisioning making even the most ordinary items, like a grocery shopping cart, extraordinary. Because everyday experiences deserve a touch of enchantment.
Let’s say I have 24 hours in your hometown Madrid, what are the must-visits?
Madrid (my 3rd hometown) often takes a back seat to the more popular Barcelona in Spain. Yet, Madrid has its charm and offerings that remain relatively undiscovered. It's a city worth exploring beyond the usual tourist spots. While there are plenty of places and tips you can easily find online, I'd personally recommend… come visit our store then I will tell you! :)
Thank you very much for sharing!