Mach & Mach: Post-pandemic revenge heels

Top of the list for any post-pandemic outfit are Georgian label Mach & Mach’s towering high-octane crystal- or pearl-embellished satin stilettos. Sister duo NINA and GVANTSA MACHARASHVILI speak to ZANETA CHENG about why their shoes have been sold out at every turn and how their idea of fantasy speaks to the present moment

Crystal-embellished PVC stilettos from Mach & Mach’s fall/winter 2021 collection (Photo: Mach & Mach)

Last year, when we were all sitting on our sofas in newly purchased sweats, it didn’t seem likely that we would ever dress up and ditch our slippers for heels ever again. Turns out, it only took a year or so for everyone to throw Covid-core out the window and engage in the kind of maximalist revenge dressing that has taken hold over much of the fashion set. Cue feathers, cue sequins, cue Cinderella shoes that have been made to resemble jewels for the feet.

They might not be as comfortable as a trainer but in shades of pastels rendered in silk, mesh or see-through “glass” PVC replete with a sparkly double bow or pearl embellishment, Mach & Mach stilettos are the perfect viral revenge heels for any back-to-party look.

Founded in 2012 in Tblisi, Georgia, by sisters Nina and Gvantsa Macharashvili, the brand and its outré shoes have thrived in the pandemic, reaching cult status and selling out for much of last year and most of this one, having been seen on the likes of Solange Knowles, Katy Perry, almost all of the Kardashian sisters and any fashion-conscious celebrity worth their mettle.

According to the sisters, who are of surprisingly fewer words than their spangly, glitter-choked creations would suggest, it was a case of the right shoes at the right time. “It has always been our aim to create collections that would radiate good vibes and somehow be a source of optimism, and they matched this momentum flawlessly,” they said.

“Especially when staying at home becomes mandatory, people start feeling an intense desire to dress up, to wear fascinating pieces and to feel beautiful. Fashion has a magical power to bring joy and happiness, even in such tough times and because fantasy and fashion is one for us, materialising the fantasy into wearable fashion was just a matter of time.”

Satin and PVC stiletto pumps and mules from Mach & Mach’s fall/ winter 2021 collection (Photo: Mach & Mach)

Having started their brand together at home almost nine years ago, the sisters – who took the brand name from their mutual surname Macharashvili – admit to having loved fashion since their childhoods. While Gvantsa has a design degree and prior experience as a professional designer, Nina holds a doctorate degree and made the decision to deviate from her path to embark onthe brand with her sister. Since then the pair have shown at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tblisi and costumed Katy Perry for her Witness World Wide exclusive live-stream concert in 2017.

“Working together is a very active process for us. We bring a lot of ideas but the most important part is when our thoughts match. To describe it in one sentence – it’s a transformation from chaos to harmony,” the sisters say. “For as long as we can remember, creativity has been a part of our lives. We’ve always loved playing with colours and working with different materials so it was not difficult to start a brand together.

“For us, inspiration can be found everywhere and in everything – from architecture to nature, from the current mood to the way we feel or see ourselves. We never know what will pop up to inspire us. Of course we also love colour. Every shade has its own energy and every tone from our colour palette portrays our identity.”

While the shoes have catapulted their brand into the spotlight, the sisters have been designing ready-to-wear collections for the past nine years. Embellishing basics with feathers and crystal, and amping up otherwise staple pieces through acid colours or glitter, Mach & Mach has consistently been about liberating women through unapologetically exuberant pieces. Think masculine wide- shouldered jackets cut as mini-dresses, rendered in luminous white satin with dangling crystal buttons or loose mesh crystal-flecked trousers for a zingy and luxuriant take on closet basics.

“Our brand can easily be described as seeing things differently, sharing the love of beauty and spreading positivity. We’re passionately curious and we go wherever curiosity takes us,” say the sisters. “But we aren’t just creating luxury and exclusive items for the sake of doing so. Rather, we want to spread a valuable attitude – to empower women and other women around us to never be afraid of change, to be brave, to be fierce, to be bold and to always move forward.” 

Follow Mach & Mach on Instagram @machandmach

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