You don’t need to open up a magazine (although if you do, may we recommend Brooklyn Magazine?) to know that clogs are having a moment. On the L train, on Smith Street, on the Coney Island boardwalk… anywhere you go in Brooklyn, you’ll likely see a woman teetering around on a pair of wooden-soled shoes. But while their roots may trace back to Sweden, our fine borough has its very own clog designer in Nina Ziefvert. Through her label Nina Z, based out of her apartment in Crown Heights and regularly sold at The Flea, she’s been reviving the famous footwear of her mother country with a range of clunky-but-cool designs starting at $125.
For summer, that line expands with the addition of three new styles and a slew of fresh colors. “This season, we only made each new sandal style in one unique color, carefully chosen to match its particular design and inspiration,” explains Ziefvert, adding succinctly, “Three colors and three sandals.” There’s the Anna, channeling, as the designer puts it, “any Swedish teacher, mother, friend, or woman who dared to wear socks with her sandal clogs.” The woven-toed Katarina is a two-part sandal inspired by the designer’s journalist friend. And then there’s Agneta, “simply named after one of the ABBA original mamas, Agnetha Faltskog,” which boasts a higher heel—three-and-a-half inches—boosting its double-buckle design.
It’s not just new styles that mark the start of summer, but a few new colorways. The inspiration, according to Ziefvert, is the world outside of Sweden. “Going forward, we are looking to incorporate the ethnic design tradition from a few more world areas other than Scandinavia,” she explains, pointing to this season’s rich cognac (like “the red African soil”) and moody gray (“inspired by the Antarctic icebergs”) as examples. This connection with the earth extends beyond just shades of leather; the clogs are made with recycled rubber and European Birth and Alder grown according to the EU’s strict standards. Which means that they’re not just good for your closet, but good for the environment, too.