Lucky Lou Shoes — reproduction bahaykubo shoes — Rockin’ Tiki for your tootsies

lucky lou shoesTiki-TuesdayToday — tiki for your tootsies — because what goes better with a vintage Hawaiian dress than cute shoes with a tiki carved into the heel? Pam and I discovered Lucky Lou Shoes while shopping the tiki bazaar during our trip to The Hukilau. I didn’t have room left in my suitcase for a pair of these (too many mugs!) but Pam bought herself a pretty pair.

lucky lou shoesWe asked Linda Lou von Hochtritt from Lucky Lou Shoes if she could fill us in on the history of her company and hand-carved, wooden shoes. Linda Lou writes:

We’re mega-fans of Retro Renovation over here and we’re thrilled you want to feature Lucky Lou Shoes!  I met Pam at the Hukilau and we talked a little bit about Lucky Lou Shoes, as well as my other company — a retro lampshade company called Starlight Shades.

carved-wooden-shoesAbout the shoes:  I used to collect the original palm tree-and-hut carved wood shoes that were made during WWII in the Philippines.  They’re called ‘bahaykubo’ (meaning ‘little village), were often brightly-painted and were made for Souvenirs for Allied GIs to take home to their sweethearts.  Unfortunately, the shoes were often small, narrow and uncomfortable.  I still managed to wear mine as often as possible while living in San Francisco and got tons of compliments – at that time, no one had really seen them before.

carved-wooden-shoescarved-wooden-shoesUpon moving to Austin in 2002, I started doing some research to see if I could get these shoes carved again for modern girls.  After about a year, I finally found the descendants of the original carvers in the Philippines who agreed to bring back the lost art of shoe carving for me.  I came out with an updated version of the original Bahaykubo, as well as styles that included a highly-carved flaming heart, lucky charms, flowers, anchors and our classic, Rockin’ Tiki.

Tiki shoesOriginally aimed at the Rockabilly crowd, I’m now branching out and designing beautiful shoes that any woman, no matter what her style or taste, can wear.  I’ve got collaborations coming up with some pretty well-known people that I’m really excited about, I’m picking up more and more retailers and my manufacturing process is becoming more refined.  I’m experimenting with new strap materials and choices, I have some gorgeous new designs coming up (a tattoo-inspired Japanese dragon, an anatomical skull, a Hollywood Regency riot of scrolls) and they’re all in the sample-stage.  I’m also working on a complementary handbag line.  As far as designs go, my carvers can pretty much carve anything I can come up with onto a pair of shoes, so the possibilities are endless.

carved-wooden-shoesOriginally, our shoes were produced by the descendants of the original carvers, with the grandparents teaching the grandkids how to do the detailed work.  Now we employ talented carvers in small factories in Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippines, but our shoes are still hand-carved.

Tiki shoes

At this time, Lucky Lou’s shoes have four available styles: the Gypsy Rose, the Souvenir, the tiki stiletto and the tiki wedge. There are a variety of colors and finishes depending on the style — red and black vinyl, tooled vinyl and even a snazzy faux leopard fabric. Prices range from $85 – $110 per pair.

Tiki shoes

Above: Pam bought herself the Souvenir style — a wedge with fun peek-a-boo cutouts and an Asian inspired pagoda type building carved into the heel. Pam adds:

“Yup, this is the exact style and color I bought. I am massively in love with these shoes. They are super comfortable and look fabulous on. Come Christmas, I will ask Santa to bring me a pair with the leopard print. Santa never knows what to bring me. He will be happy I have something so specific — and so personal — on my list. Did I mention: I am massively in love with these shoes.”
Tiki shoesSome styles, like the gypsy rose above, also have carved treatments on the vinyl that further complement the carved heels.

Even if you aren’t into tiki, these shoes are super fun. In hindsight, I should have bought myself a pair. Perhaps I can add a pair of tiki wedges to my birthday wish list.

Which style is your favorite? BUT WAIT! Come back tomorrow and tell us then — ‘cuz we’re having a giveaway!

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  1. Cynthia says

    The shoes have a very 70s look and vibe, too. We didn’t have the carved wood, but the high heel wooden clog and platform base was very popular in the 70s with backless, slip on styles (once called “mules” I think)and also with strappy styles. Put on these shoes and you will automatically have a better day!

  2. Blondie7 says

    Wow! These shoes are phenomenally Hot! The Lucky Lou shoes are works of art, that deserve to be presented within a show case cabinet. Simply delicious!

    Thanks a million Pam and Kate!


  3. virginia says

    Tiki Wedge in red and black.

    Would love the rewatch “The Descendants” for a 15th time with these beauties on my tired, old unfortunately NOT in Hawaii tootsies.

  4. Alexandria Martin says

    I just bought the size 9 leopard shoes with the tiny little hut in the Clearance section, $75.00 plus shipping. THEY LOOK amazing, hope they fit, if not, the policy says they give store credit and can exchange with purchaser paying for shipping.

  5. Brigid OBrien says

    Sorry to be an old fuddy-duddy, but in order for me to not fall down while wearing these, I would need them to have a strap. And since you’re askin’, let’s go with a platform wedge and a strap.

  6. Mary Ann Buckner says

    I love the pagoda that’s on the black Souvenir style!!! I can see myself rockin’ these with some jeans!

  7. Connie says

    OMG, want shoes!!
    Sorry, my brain went to mush seeing those. I used to sell vintage clothing and have seen original ones. Didn’t know they were back making them. So fun! Hard to pick a fave, one of each I think. Although I do have a soft spot for the ones with a little house/scene on them. I think I know what I’m asking for for Christmas.

  8. Valerie says

    I live in New Zealand.
    Here, we learn about Maori and Pasifika culture if we are not part of it by ethnicity.
    I feel very uneasy about the thought of putting other cultures’ spiritual emblems “under my feet”.

  9. Shambie says

    The Souvenir in Red, size 10. I LOVE the stiletto, unfortunately, my feet can’t take that kind of abuse any more.

    Thanks for sharing these with us. The craftsmanship is something you just don’t see any more these days, ESPECIALLY in shoes!

  10. Amy in Sacramento says

    I’d LOVE to have a pair of the Tiki Stiletto’s with ankle straps (so they stay on my feet!) I spent 3 years of my childhood in the Philippines, so this would be REALLY cool to have something adult for myself.

  11. Dentelle Maquillage et Whiskey says

    I’m so excited to see the new design inspired by Kermit Tesoro’s skull heels!

  12. Angela Whitehead says

    I couldn’t believe these when I saw the link! I would feel like Queen Kaahumanu. The Rockin’ Tiki in black would suit my decor to a T! I would live in these shoes, in fact, I want them all but who wouldn’t :)

  13. Christina says

    The Rockin Tiki in black strap! Beautiful!! And they have my size!! Thanks for posting this and having a contest!! :)

  14. Kim Dossett says

    This website is fantastic and has been an invaluable source of information to this newbie! Love the shoes! Gotta go all out with the Tiki head heel!

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