A Story of Shoes, Family and Passion

A team of diverse individuals, each uniquely qualified across the fields of research, design, shoemaking and engineering, came together to create a new trajectory for footwear.

The Spark

While working in New York City, founder Tony Musso noticed his female friends and colleagues would often commute in flats and change into heels at the office. After seeing a coworker change shoes in the lobby before a meeting, he thought there had to be a better way to make high heels. With a family history in the shoemaking business, Musso was inspired to create a better footwear option: one that could take women seamlessly through life, comfortable without sacrificing the style and attitude of a high heel.

Naive but determined to get to his arms around the challenge: he began speaking with experts in biomechanics, the scientific study of movement—how muscles, bones, and the nervous system interact to help us move. Studying the work of experts in the field, he recognized that high heel design could evolve by bringing together biomechanics research and artisanal shoemaking.

Armed with conviction that he was onto something, Musso turned to his friend, NYC-based designer Hannah Spinelli, a former classmate he’d met a decade earlier studying patternmaking and shoe construction at leading shoe academy Arsutoria. Spinelli had spent over 15 years working as a designer at America’s top fashion houses. She joined the core team of shoemakers and researchers, bringing a discerning eye and refined design sensibility to the team.

 

Musso’s research led him to world-renowned biomechanics expert Benno Nigg at the University of Calgary, who had consulted for Adidas’s R&D division for 35 years. Working with Nigg, Musso learned that the brain is in constant contact with the feet through our nervous system in order to keep us balanced. Inez footwear was engineered based on the principles that variances in support, load balancing, and spring reaction can affect and improve walking movement.

In addition to the structure of the shoe itself, insoles are the biggest factor in offering comfort and support. Working in Spain with thousands of foot scans and the latest foam technology, he and a team of researchers developed a footbed that offered range of motion and endurance.

How we build our heels

Our Family Factory

The cornerstone of this crusade is the Musso family business and its factory in Elda, Spain. Generations of expertise and innovation brought to life this line of advanced footwear. In Spain, chief technical engineer Moreno Carrai designed from the ground up a new shoe architecture, specifically made to house the insoles while preserving a beautiful silhouette. He was joined by expert shoemaker Vicente Sanchez and product development manager Vicky Martinez, who brought the shoe through the prototyping process—including over 200 iterations—in which each shoe was adjusted and shaped to the millimeter. Prototypes were wear-tested in several stages by over 50 women, in partnership with research labs in Spain and a team in New York. The result? A high heel that makes no sacrifices in aesthetics, construction, or quality, transforming our expectations surrounding women’s shoes.

Spain and our heritage

Our beginnings: the Alta and Lola

Inez began with modern, high heel pumps in two heights: the Alta (90 mm) and the Lola (70 mm). Our first styles are the culmination of two years of persistence and belief in a better way forward for women’s shoes. Each pump is lined with kidskin leather and finished with a turned-stitch seam around the edges to minimize rubbing, making the shoe feel smooth against the skin. A hand-stitched ‘X’ at the back of the heel is a subtle nod to our artisanal roots. 

All Inez styles are designed and developed with care, our comfort technology, and attention to the details. Get to know our latest styles and experience heels you'll actually enjoy wearing.

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