in only a few short weeks, UK shoe magnate Kat Maconie will bring her eclectic and
colorful footwear to the US. her latest colleciton of geometic heels and silhouettes are
influenced by the 60's and 70's, with over 80 styles ranging from $187-$287.
i had the opportunity to ask kat a few questions about her transition to the states,
A Glimpse of Glamour: Where and when will Kat Maconie shoes be available in the US?
Kat Maconie: From 5 February (my birthday ;-)!)
AGOG: Your shoes are advertised as a mix of fashion and function, comfort and luxury-- can you speak to how your experience as a woman has influenced the way you design shoes for women?
KM: My shoes are for women who live similar life styles to me- city girls who always need an extra 10 minutes in the day and end up running from meeting to dog walk to after work drinks to a dinner party! My shoes are designed for women on the go, women who live fast lives and who want shoes that stand out, that are design lead, but don't come with crazy high designer price tags; they are to be loved and lived in!
AGOG: I see that you graduated from London College of Fashion. When did you know that you wanted to focus sole-ly (pun intended!) on shoes?
KM: I attended evening classes at London College of Fashion- it was a purely shoe design focused course. I was working on the buying team at Whistles while attending classes and so I got the design experience by night and the business experience by day.
AGOG: You starter your label in 2009 with simple ballet flats- how did your shoe designs evolve over the past six years?
KM: The original concept was pumps that looked like ballet flats, but felt like sneakers. The creativity was a little limiting though and so the collections quickly evolved into platforms, flatforms and high heels, always keeping in mind the core principle of being wearable- with insoles cushioned for that slightly later-than-intended night ;-)
AGOG: Your latest collections have a 60's and 70's feel to it- where do you look for inspiration with each new collection?
KM: Inspiration can come from anywhere, but my design team and I get alot of inspiration from our own travels. It could come from a range of things such as artists that are currently exhibiting in London to Game Boy games such as tetris! We are inspired when we wander around the Victoria & Albert Museum and when we wander around hardware stores for interesting metal details. Our AW16 print is inspired by a little metal dancing man brooch that I found in an antique shop in LA.
AGOG: What is your process for choosing colors each season?
KM: Colour is a key to our collections and something I love. (My kitchen is canary yellow and Memphis print and my bathroom is electric pink!) We attend lots of leather and trim markets in Milan and China. We normally fall in love with a number of swatches we have sourced at the fairs and then we construct the colour pallet around this, linking it back to the season's inspiration and collection.
AGOG: Where do you source your materials for your shoes?
KM: We spend a week in Italy and China each season, finding the lovely soft leathers and special, newly developed designs, my creative director and I always come back with suitcases of references!
AGOG: Walk me through your shoe design process- do you sketch the shoes first? Is there a prototype made? What are the standards that the shoe must meet in order to become a reality?
KM: We start with a starting point for inspiration. We take future trends we love and apply these to the collections, taking best sellers and giving them a fresh new update along with brand new creations. It is so important we keep each season fresh and new. Our buyers want ot see the range evolving each season, so it is important that new and special touches are injected into each collection. We then put all the designs onto Illustrator and manipulate pattern pieces and colour until we are happy with the collection. We then edit the range to create a balance in all product areas. The specs are then sent to the factory. I then fly to Hong Kong and get the ferry over to the factory In China where I work on the first prototypes, making corrections. Once the range is perfect, we product the final samples to sell from. There are many restrictions. The foot creates alot of complications when designing! Straps cannot be too thin or heels too high, especially in our case, we always keep wearability at the heart of each shoe- however high or bold.
AGOG: What is your most popular style? What is your favorite pair?
KM: This changes from season to season- during the day I will normally wear a pair of Megs (our classic court we repeat season to season and are super comfy) with a pair of rolled up boyfriend jeans and a chunky knit. I am currently LOVING my square toe ankle boots, Adeline- they make your legs look way longer than they actually are!
AGOG: Tell me about your collaborations from runways to Nasty Gal!
KM: Each seaosn, we work with London Fashion Week designers and often New Gen winners such as Ashley Williams and Roberta Einer, who is one to watch this season. We love coming up with fresh designs to complement their new cutting edge collections. We have also worked with Fyodor Golan for many seasons. We love their bold use of colour and imagination- they always push creatively to the max, and we always end up developing shoes for them that we never thought possible! We love working with Nasty Gal- we both love a strong, confident woman whose is looking for something special and different.
AGOG: Tell me about your 2016 plans for expansion to handbags and accessories- what will this entail?
KM: Each bag is made from the high spcec sumptuous leather, in a pop colours with signature gold hardware. Each is very design-lead but with an accessible price point.