Marikina is a city known best for the craft of shoe-making. The shoe industry sprawled in the late 1950 with local artisans pursuing and furthering the craft.
Apolinario and Dorotea de Dios, known fondly as ‘Ariong’ and ‘Tayang', both made a living as shoe makers in different shoe factories. They honed their craft and turned it into their passion.
In 1978, they started handcrafting made-to-order shoes under the roof of their modest home in Marikina, Rizal for friends and city locals.
Their daughter and heir to the business, Erlinda Abacan, set foot in the shoe industry with the launch of Bristol Shoes as a ready-to-wear brand in 1982. She spearheaded the development of many of the brand’s heritage designs.
With the success, they migrated to a bigger production site within Marikina and opened their first branches in Marikina Shoe Expo, Cubao and Landmark Makati.
Decades of dedicated craftsmanship, Bristol Shoes continues to expand its horizon with new style ranges from oxford, derbys, loafers and casual shoes. And in 2010, it started offering designs for women.
Today, Bristol stands as one of the pillars of the shoe industry both in Marikina and the Philippines. The enduring story of Ariong and Tayang remains the inspiration of the new generation of Bristol shoe makers to reinvent the brand with new materials, designs and technology such as the launch of the Skylator line.
The shoe industry in Marikina has been through setbacks and step forwards but Bristol remains because it’s always ready to take the step.