The name, "Ninu Nina" stems from the alien language spoken by Robin Williams in "Mork & Mindy" ( a popular 1970's comedy show).

images are by: Andrew Cinnamon/ http://www.cinnamonprojects.com

MYMU was born out of a longtime passion for the classic Argentine alpargatas, a casual espadrille shoe. As a child, creator Gabriela Lanardonne spent vacations in her father¹s native Buenos Aires, where she became enamored of the white-soled alpargatas worn by the stylish local girls who epitomized innate cool. She would return to her Manhattan home each time and wear her leather pairs to death, though she could never quite recreate the Argentine girls look. Tired of the current dominance of ballet slippers as the seemingly only flat-shoed option, Lanardonne headed to Argentina hoping to bring the alpargata to a larger audience as a chic alternative. After fully exploring the alpargata's humble makings, she realized that while attractive, they lacked the quality she sought. So Lanardonne updated the lines, making them slimmer and sleeker, and found higher end jute and fabrics in Spain. Her final designs for MYMU are at once casually whimsical and elegant. Offered for both men and women in a variety of styles from the boat shoe-esque Lawrence with leather ties to an ever-changing array of printed creations recalling Lanardonne's world adventures, the MyMu shoe lends a touch of understated sophistication to any occasion when a flat is ideal. Drawing inspiration from her travels and friends, Lanardonne offers a kaleidoscope of patterns, colors and fabrics like canvas, silk, nylon and leather to create an accessory to suit any outfit.  Always elegant, luxuriously comfortable: the MYMU shoe is for anyone with a spirit of discovery and a discerning eye.

Inspirations for your designs?

Colors and prints from vacation destinations

Styles based on friends:

  • The Lawrence: The Lawrence is the most preppy of the bunch, but still downtown-worthy, featuring color block and solid canvas options and honey,brown and black leather ties. Named for Lanardonne¹s good friend David, who is always polished and preppy, but never a bore.
  • The Drew: Inspired by her most creatively gifted friend, who always manages to make the predictable unpredictable. The most loyal interpretation of the alpargata original, updated with a two-toned palette that surprises the eye with unconventional color pairings. Much like its namesake, it is at once classic and fresh.
  • The Marisa: For those seeking a more feminine take, linens and softer prints in this model create a prettier, lighter air. Named for her mother, the Marisa exudes simple elegance.
  • The Ionian: An ever-changing palette of prints and black or neutral soles. This season's collection is Calypso Deep.
  • The Poppy: Boasting an exclusively black jute sole, this shoe has a surfer girl vibe, mixing bright bold hues that would be at home on a California beach, but look equallycool on New York streets. Dedicated to her friend Joann, nicknamed Poppy Dobbler, whose distinctive eye immediately honed in on the perfect MYMU for the beach set.

Favorite websites?

Challenges of starting your own brand ?

Setting up a business no matter the product/service/subject adds enormous pressure to your daily life. You must be legally and financially prepared to function as a business. Also, there is no one to hide behind if the business fails. It's all you! The good, the bad and the ugly is directly linked to you. So, although one must stay positive and envision success in the future for the brand, fear can creep in sometimes. But fear comes with the unknown. So, as you confront each scary monster be it shipping logistics or setting up e-commerce to name a few, the fear disperses and makes way for periods of peace and satisfaction. It's been a great challenge to my patience as well. Actually have a lot more of it now. I am able to let problems go more easily. I will do the best I can, hope I have met my responsibilities thoroughly and produced a quality product that people enjoy as much as I do. That's all I can hope to achieve.

3 things you cant live without?

  • -IPOD-without it I would NEVER excersize.
  • -Ruth Garcia-i know she's not a "thing." But I would have gone nutty without her enthusiasm and support for MYMU. Gotta give her a whoot whoot!!
  • -internet

Most interesting places youve worn your mymus?

Climbing a fig tree in Crete in August.

Shopping for fabrics at the Grand Bazaar Istanbul in December.

Dancing at BOOM BOOM ROOM NYC in March.

Anything else youd like to share with our audience?

Mymus are the hottest Summer '10 item-don't go on holiday without them!!

Alexandra Von Furstenberg Charm Candy Bowls

Younger Than I'll Be by Skye Parrott