Profile: Coast & Koi Decadence

A serendipitous find online – while in eager search of some undiscovered fashion designer gold – I came across Coast & Koi shoes. I clicked on the website link, and was redirected to a catalog of some of thee most luxurious handmade shoes I’d ever seen.

Caryn Wilensky for Coast & Koi shoes
Caryn with her Coast & Koi upcycle bag, and made-to-order coat.

I was eager to meet the designer, one Caryn Wilensky; and once we did sit down for a chat…Well, I was rather captivated – and a little in awe – thanks to her story, and that of Coast and Koi.

If you do not believe just how vivid of a story she paints, watch the interview here:

“Coast & Koi make carefully crafted, handmade artisanal footwear using only quality fabric, leather or vegan materials.”

Coast and Koi designer Caryn Wilensky noticed a gap in the fashion design market, for stylish #ProudlySouthAfrican handmade, and utterly unique footwear. It’s all about elegance, an elevated sense of tasteful sophistication, and the intrinsic authenticity of global culture. Created in 2005, Coast and Koi has maintained its fundamental aim to create a chic and stylish, proudly South African brand. Caryn has ensured that they have established Coast and Koi shoes as a mark of quality, that stands out at events like the Design Indaba, which they showcase at annually.

I rather think I may be a Coast & Koi shoes woman; what with their clients being distinctively unique, independent and free thinking!

Currently, Coast and Koi is in negotiations with a Holland-based group that would see these handmade shoes sold in one of the worlds most vibrant countries. Currently, they are selling in a fine boutique in Belgrave,  sold in Melbourne, definitely available in the UK, and “dotted all over South Africa in small pockets of resort areas”

The brand has been noted internationally for its exquisite designs, particularly when The Huffington Post singled out Coast and Koi for their upcycle bags.

Coast & Koi (white, red, yellow & gold) - $189
Coast & Koi source bags which are recycled utility rice, grains, coffee or chicken sacks that have been used to transport produce across the globe and which end up in Cape Town South Africa. On any one bag there will be a buckle made in Italy from circa 1970, a purse or two from China, some printed fabric from Africa or straps of paillettes from India.

I absolutely covet some of the Coast and Koi shoes, and cannot wait to see what else Caryn brings to this ever-changing fashion arena.

Stay tuned for more videos, and pictures of some of my favorites from the Coast & Koi collections, as well as a history on some of the shoes history and inspiration.

Coast and Koi will be exhibiting at Decorex Cape Town, so pop by and see their latest collections.

Order your pair of designer C&K shoes by shopping online at Inspired Luxe, or emailing

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Lady_Crunk says:

    RIGHT! She makes some good stuff.

  2. I love her work! xxx

Leave a Reply