Shoe Guru

Walk a mile in shoes from Teaneck-based Lust for Life, and you’ll discover Sarah Malaquias’ lifelong love of fashion.



It’s hard to believe that the designer behind edgy shoe line Lust for Life almost became a doctor. But fashionistas everywhere can be glad Sarah Malaquias switched gears at the age of 24 and enrolled at Parsons School of Design to pursue her “lifelong passion” for fashion design. Now at 36, Malaquias is running her own footwear company, Lust for Life, showing her lines at New York Fashion Week and taking frequent trips to Europe, where her shoes are made. When she’s not jet-setting, The Palisades, NY, resident can be found sketching new and inspired designs at Lust for Life’s headquarters in Teaneck, drawing on the experience she gained working in product development for Steve Madden and as co-creative director of the London Trash and London Rebel lines of shoes for Zigi NY. Of course, being a busy career woman doesn’t stop her from stepping out the door each morning in some seriously stylish footwear. Malaquias spoke with BERGEN about spring trends, her brand and more.

How did Lust for Life get its name?

We drew inspiration from the artists and artisans that we had met along the way. Our name signifies their free way of living, which incorporates art, diversity and worldliness. This is our definition of Lust for Life.

Who is the woman you design for?

We design for an attitude and a lifestyle, for someone bold enough to set a new trend in her office, or to be the one at the dinner table in multicolor snakeskin 5-inch pumps.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I’m very much inspired by color and texture, which can come from fine art, nature, a flea market or someone’s vintage fur accessory.

What spring trends should we have our eyes on?

I love color for spring as long as it’s done in a sexy, bare way, and having a very open shoe with a leg wrap accomplishes that. Fur has also popped up as a year-round item: It no longer signifies winter and can give your summer shoes a fun pop of color and texture.

What fashion faux pas drive you crazy?

I have two: The first is over-accessorizing. Choose one statement piece that you want people to notice and make that the focal point of your outfit. Everything else you’re wearing should complement this item. The second is letting your toes hang off the side of your sandal. If your toes hang or poke through because of the design, it’s not the shoe for you, and you shouldn’t buy it.

What’s your go-to shoe for comfort or running errands?

It used to be a ballerina flat, but sneakers have completely taken over—I am so happy that they are fashionable now. There are so many cute ways to wear sneakers with jeans, shorts and even dresses. I still love a rich leather flat sandal with a thick leather insole. Even with studs all over it, it gives any outfit a classic look that is appropriate for any setting.

How many pairs of shoes do you have?

Probably close to 100. I try to donate the ones I don’t wear, but I just accumulate so many from working in the business. I justify it with the idea that a good shoe is the one accessory that will always change your outfit, and whether or not you’re having a “fat day” won’t matter––the shoes will always fit.

What do you like to do in your downtime?

I’m almost always working. I take what little time I have to spend with my family. My husband and I like to do dinner and drinks.

Tell us about your family.

I have two stepkids, a boy and a girl. My stepdaughter is 10, and although she’s a bit of a tomboy, she likes to talk fashion with me and get my opinions on things. I think she looks up to me in that sense. I also have a “fur baby,” a rescue beagle mix.

What’s something about you that would surprise people?

It’s nearly impossible for me to tell a lie. And I desperately want to learn to breakdance.

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April 2017

You are invited to participate in the Thunderbird Run 2017, Mahwah Schools Foundations 18th Annual – USA Track & Field Sanctioned, Grand Prix 10k & 5K Race (Our Main Event) and Kid Run. This...

Cost: $25/$35

Where:
Mahwah High School
50 Ridge Road
Mahwah, NJ  07430
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Sponsor: Wellness Providers
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Calling all Bergenites to the county’s annual Party for the Planet from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. at the Bergen County Zoological Park in Van Saun County Park. It’s a great way to mark Earth...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bergen County Zoological Park
216 Forest Ave
Paramus, NJ  07652
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On Sunday, April 23 from 10 a.m.to 4 p.m., The B Hive Organic Salon will host its sixth annual Outdoor Earth Week Green Fair and Market along with the Borough of Oradell.  The event will...

Cost: Free

Where:
Veterans Plaza
1 Veterans Pl
Oradell, NJ  07649
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Sponsor: The B Hive Salon
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The Conservancy for Ridgewood Public Lands and the Ridgewood Environmental Advisory Committee, in partnership with Ridgewood Water, is celebrating everything green at their Daffodil Festival &...

Cost: Free

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Van Neste Memorial Park
S Walnut St
Ridgewood, NJ  07450
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The concert features the frequently requested Franz Schubert Trout Quintet for Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello, and Bass.  Other pieces to performed are: Judith Shatin's "Love Song"...

Cost: Available for purchase at the door. $30 adults, $25 seniors, and students under

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All Saints Episcopal Church
150 Park Avenue
Leonia, NJ  07605
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Sponsor: Leonia Chamber Musicians Society
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Flat Rock Brook Nature Center in Englewood invites one and all to hit their trails at 2 p.m. for what it’s billing as an . What better way to spend Earth Day than in nature? Admission: FREE. For...

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Flat Rock Brook Nature Center
443 Van Nostrand Ave
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Bring the family to see Verismo Opera's full production of Giuseppe Verdi's AIDA.  Under MET Opera legend and Artistic Director Lucine Amara, enjoy the cast of professional singers,...

Cost: $25 to $55

Where:
Bergen Performing Arts Center
30 North Van Brunt St.
Englewood, NJ  07631
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Sponsor: New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera
Contact Name: New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera
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The All Seasons Chamber Players, one of New Jersey’s most popular and active chamber music ensembles, will perform its spring program on Sunday afternoon, April 23 at 3:30 P.M. in the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Central Unitarian Church
156 Forest Ave # 1
Paramus, NJ  07652
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Sponsor: ALL SEASONS CHAMBER PLAYERS
Telephone: (201) 768-1331
Contact Name: Jean Strickholm, Co-Director
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A 40-member Steering Committee of Bergen County community leaders from the public and private sectors officially announced today the launch of the First Annual Bergen County Care Fair to take place...

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Hilton Hasbrouck Heights
650 Terrace Ave
Hasbrouck Heights, NJ  07604
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The New Musical being presented by the Old Library Theatre in Fair Lawn, 13, has Evan Goldman’s number. Uprooted from a small town in Indiana along with a stable home life, he must learn how to...

Cost: $20 for adults; $18 for students/seniors; $10 for children under 12

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Challenge yourself to some yoga fun with Wellness Warriors Yoga Bingo 30 day challenge!  Open to New & Existing Clients - New clients 1 month trial is $40, start it on April 1st ends...

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The 18th Annual Spring Luncheon, presented by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), takes place on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.  All proceeds...

Cost: $500

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Cipriani 42nd Street
110 East 42nd Street
New York, NY  10017
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Sponsor: Tony Manning Consulting, Inc.
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Where there’s hope, there’s New Hope Inc., which is hosting its annual Hands of Hope Fundraising Gala at Seasons in Washington Township from 6:30–10:30 p.m. Enjoy a full cocktail hour, a...

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Children's Aid and Family Services' spring fundraising gala, "Making a World of Difference," will benefit vulnerable children and families in the community. The...

Cost: $175.00

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The Venetian
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The day begins with a USATF certified 5K family run/walk sponsored by HackensackUMC Foundation, the Hughes and Zabransky Families, and the Run for Sue Committee in memory of Saddle River resident...

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Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church
96 E. Allendale Road
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Sponsor: HackensackUMC Foundation
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So, you’ve gone the town-wide garage sale route and still have a load of leftovers? Throw it in the car and try your luck at the Junk in the Trunk Garage Sale at the Wyckoff Family YMCA, 10 a.m....

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Wyckoff Family YMCA
691 Wyckoff Ave
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Last year, Eli Tomac placed second at MetLife Stadium and later went on to win the first Monster Energy Cup Championship of his career! Does he have what it takes to take...

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On April 29, 2017, we will celebrate the life and legacy of Susan Zabransky Hughes with our 6th Annual Susan Zabransky Hughes Memorial Run/Walk in Saddle River. All the proceeds from our...

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Saddle River , NJ

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