The Birth of a Brand

My footwear design agency - Meat Packing District, NYC 2008

Shoes have always played a prominent role in my life; I bought them, drew them and designed them for other brands. Eventually, I started consulting businesses to help service designers by developing their footwear. After years of simply designing, consulting placed me in the center of it all; by providing R&D services I was also becoming privy to the knowledge of marketing and footwear sales.

In September 2015, somewhere along Sicily’s northern coast I sat on a secluded beach with my significant other. As I took in my surroundings a thought suddenly entered my mind and I realized that I had all the pieces of the puzzle; the experience, the knowledge, the relationships and the creativity to give it a shot. From that point, our Sicilian vacation was filled with moments of inspiration. I became a spectator, indulging in the vibrant colors, textures, and the most beautiful landscapes that only the human eye could capture.

Looking over Tyndari - Sicily 2015

People always say “love what you do, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” At that moment, I captured the essence of the saying as every moment grabbed hold of me as if it were an explorer on a planned expedition; right there in in Sicilia the brand was born.

I reside in New York and although I am surrounded by inspiration from my own backyard I wanted to capture the essence of where the brand was born. There’s so much in a name; which is why each shoe carries the name of a city based on the island of Sicilia. Leni, Milazzo, Oliveri, and Tyndaris are all names chosen to reflect each shoe style. Tyndaris, which is my signature shoe in the Firma collection (Firma is Italian for Signature) was named after the town of Tyndari, which is filled of rich and significant history that dates to 395BC. The Tyndaris best represents the city in its strong form and shape as it stands tall just as the “Sanctuary of tyndarid,” a staple and local attraction within the community.

Handmaking the Tyndaris Hi in our shop - New York City 2016

In those 12 days in Sicilia, an idea was born encompassing materials, colors, hardware and textures. Omar Bailey footwear will continue to evolve through travel and life experiences allowing my passion for people, art and the world at large to inspire thoughts and create tangible art in the form of footwear.