Mary-Kyri Pallaras – Shoe Designer
Mary-Kyri was born in South Australia, Adelaide in 1979. Her mother Joan migrated with her family as a young child from Cyprus after the Second World War. Her father George was born in Adelaide and was the child of Greek immigrants who migrated to Australia in their adolescent years.
In 2001, Mary-Kyri applied for entry into the Marleston Fashion College in South Australia in order to explore her childhood fascination with fashion and shoes. As a little girl she enjoyed dressing up in her mother’s clothing and oversized stilettos whilst performing dance routines for her family. After graduating with a three year full time Diploma in Fashion Design, Clothing and Textiles, Mary-Kyri went on to work in various roles within the fashion industry and was contracted out by companies to computerise designs.
Being an incredibly passionate person, Mary-Kyri felt unfulfilled and believed there was something missing from the equation. During a conversation over dinner with her father and partner, it was suggested that she begin designing shoes, as this was her ultimate passion. However she initially wondered whether this was possible as she had no education in footwear, construction or contacts.
Late in 2005, Mary-Kyri boldly set her sights on creating her first shoe collection. On impulse she sold her car and purchased a return ticket to Italy with ten designs in the back pocket of her jeans to fulfill this dream. Once there, she secured a meeting with one of Italy’s most prestigious manufacturers who created footwear for the world’s most renowned designers. On her return to Australia, she worked continually in the factory, learning every aspect of high fashion shoe manufacture. In March 2006, Mary-Kyri’s dream was realised and her first collection ‘Virago’ was released in Australia and New Zealand.
Mary-Kyri has appeared as a judge on and supplies all shoes to, Australia’s Next Top Model, and has made many appearances on TV shows such as Mornings with Kerri Ann, Sunrise, The Today Show, A Current Affair, Runway to LA and many more. Mary-Kyri Shoes have featured in international and Australian top fashion magazines and online websites including; Vogue, Instyle, Cosmopolitan, Harpers Bazaar, Black and White, Grazia UK and many more. Celebrities who wear her shoes include Sarah Jessica Parker, Kate Moss, Jade Jagger, P!nk, Fergie, Dannii Minogue, Kylie Minogue, Cheryl Cole, Paris and Nicky Hilton, Megan Gale and Kim Kardashian to name but a few.
To compliment the stilettos Mary-Kyri developed a high fashion women’s sneaker line called Mary-Kyri Sportz. Mary-Kyri also recently created a diversion line of high quality, unique fashionable women’s shoes made entirely in Brazil.
In collaboration with renowned designers, Mary-Kyri shoes have appeared on the catwalks of London Fashion Week, and Melbourne and Sydney Fashion Week.
In 2008, she was awarded the Small Business Champions Fashion Award for South Australia and went on to win the National Small Business Champion Award. She currently lives in Adelaide, South Australia.