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Monica Arce Garcia, Class of 2021, is the founder and Creative Director of D’ARÇÉ, a footwear brand that has at its core a commitment to sustainability and social responsibility while crafting exquisite leather shoes that not only transcend seasonal boundaries but also endure the passage of time. Monica shares her journey in her own words:

“From a tender age, fashion has always been a passion, something my Barbies could attest to after their seventh outfit change of the day by 8am. This interest was furthered at All Hallows by having the opportunity to take Fashion with Mrs Mullins in Dodge Lane and in Year 11 a Certificate of Fashion at TAFE every Wednesday afternoon. 

With working in fashion always being my goal, I moved to Paris to finish my Masters degrees in luxury brand management and international development. After a stint at the OECD, I knew I wanted to bring these two interests of mine together by creating my own brand. In 2017 I started D’Arçé Sandals to create a brand that made beautiful shoes that were truly socially responsible as well as environmentally sustainable. I chose to create the production studio in Cherbourg, Queensland, as a way to bring economic opportunities to regional, indigenous communities. I initially taught 7 women how to work with leather and continue to work in Cherbourg. All of our leathers for sandals use kangaroo leather (the
most sustainable leather or material commercially available) from a tannery outside of Brisbane that has been there since the 1800s. We use traditional shoemaking techniques to ensure our sandals last for years. 

We have been featured in shows at New York and Paris Fashion Week and participated in the Cannes Film Festival as part of their sustainability initiative. With our customers predominantly in the United States and Europe, we are now expanding into closed shoes with the introduction of our latest Mary Jane ballet flats that are produced in Portugal by a boutique family-run factory that has met all of our sustainability specifications with Leather Working Group certified leathers and no thermoplastic components”.