Lauren Bruksch and Taz Saunders are launching the women's shoe line Palter DeLiso

Lauren Bruksch and Taz Saunders are launching the women's shoe line Palter DeLiso. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

While L.A style might seem to be synonymous with denim and the contemporary clothing market, several Southern California-based, high-end footwear labels are creating lines that preserve the art and quality of luxury shoes.

Newbark

Created by sisters and renowned stylists Marjan (the Dixie Chicks) and Maryam (Heidi Klum, the Rolling Stones) Malakpour, Newbark refers to the phrase "my dogs are barking" — meaning tired feet.

The women created the line as an alternative to the standard ballet flat, infusing inspiration from Moroccan flats and 1920s men's slippers.

After launching in 2009 with its signature flat loafer, Newbark now includes sandals, boots, bags and clutches, all made from luxurious leather or exotic skins.

Esquivel

George Esquivel's custom shoes are favorites of Janelle Monae, Amar'e Stoudemire and Bruno Mars.

Designing his handcrafted footwear and signature brogues from his headquarters in Buena Park, the Orange County native is known for his traditional approach to making shoes, but with a modern, textural twist. His attention to detail and craftsmanship, mixed with a laid back Southern California vibe, scored him a spot as a Vogue/Council of Fashion Designers of America Fashion Fund Finalist in 2009, as well as collaborations with Chloe, Juan Carlos Obando and Irene Neuwirth. And earlier this year, he was he was appointed creative director of luxury luggage brand Tumi.

Jerome Rousseau

Jerome Rousseau is not the designer one turns to for a basic black pump. The Canada native has a flair for embellished, boundary-pushing stilettos and ankle booties that act as statement pieces when worn by his well-known clients, including Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Charlize Theron.

His attention-grabbing shoes have also paved the path for Rousseau's film collaborations, such as a limited edition shoe inspired by "Tron" and designs that appeared in "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus."