Interview

  • Meet Shoe Designer Kat Maconie

    Meet UK designer, Kat Maconie

    marysue | Indie Shoe Blog for Women

     

     

    Many of you know that we have always championed smaller, independent shoe designers. In fact, we have built our entire business on curating a collection of special, unique and hard to find brands. One of our favorite things to do is spread the news about our finds. You may not immediately recognize her name, but we have a feeling you will soon as Kat Maconie’s unique shoes have her signature calling card on each pair. Whether it is her framed heels or colorful innovative uppers, her shoes have a look and feel that is all her own. We see a lot of shoes and know that originality like Kat’s shoes have the ingredient for longevity in shoe design.

    We met up with Kat at a recent trade show and this little lady sure shined bright when presenting her collection. She is the real deal, and we knew we had to tell her story.

    Kat charged into shoe design a few years ago after she wore many hats in the fashion world.  All of these experiences prepped her for launching her own label. Here she spills on how she got here, where her inspo comes from (from Art to Game Boy, seriously), the bumps in the road she found in far away lands, some savvy advice to other women entrepreneurs, to her caffeine of choice.  Take a read.

    Tell us about your entry into starting your own shoe line?

    The original concept was pumps that looked like ballet flats but felt like sneakers. The creativity was a little limiting though so the collections quickly evolved into platforms, flatforms and high heels, however, always keeping the core principle of being wearable in mind. And also keeping in mind that all insoles need to be cushioned for that slightly later than intended night ;-)

    You clearly look at the world a little differently than the rest of us!  Tell us more about your geometric designs and where this inspiration comes from.

    Inspiration can come from anywhere, but my design team and I get a lot of inspiration from our 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 or when we wander around hardware stores for interesting metal details.  Our Fall16 prints and embroidery detail (Boggie man)  is inspired by a little metal dancing man broach I found in an Antiques shop in LA, we also look at a lot of vintage jewelry for detail inspiration.

    What did you do before you designed shoes?

    I attended evening classes at London Collage of Fashion - it was a purely shoe design focused course, I was working on the buying and product development  team at Whistles (a high end fashion retailer in the UK)  while attending the classes and so I got the design experience by night and the business experience by day to enable me to launch Kat Maconie.

    Biggest challenge in starting your business?

    There have been many! I had my name stolen in China, that was a big challenge getting that back.  I was unable to sell my brand in China without it, so I had to buy it off the person who had trademarked it and fly him to Hong Kong from central China and negotiate with him for many months, it was a bit of a nightmare! Raising finance  was also a challenge, developing custom designed shoes with unique heels is very costly, custom machinery and moulds need to be made to produce each new construction.

    The most rewarding part about your work right now?

    Freedom to make decisions.

    The product we develop. I still get so excited when the boxes of new samples arrive, its fantastic to be able to lie in bed thinking about a design detail and then see it in reality a few months later.

    The travel has been amazing too, I have covered a lot of the world on sales trips and collection development trips.

    Advice to other women who are looking to follow their passions?

    I know its an obvious one and everyone says it BUT it IS the most important:  never ever give up. Accept that bad things will happen!  I have definitely had my fair share of disasters but you need to battle through and not take no for an answer.  Stay true to your vision, you will have many people on the way trying to pull you in directions that you don't necessarily want to go. Stay focused on who your customer is and don’t try and please too many different customers otherwise what you are trying to present will look diluted and not as strong.

    Your favorite shoe from your Fall collection?

    I love the Sadie in black, its chic, makes you feel empowered and sexy and although high its comfortable and easy to strut in!

    What you can’t live without ?

    My Labradoodle, Doris, I miss her so much when traveling.

    Your caffeine of choice?

    I live on Bermondsey street in London, Bermondsey street has the most amazing collection of independent coffee shops along the street and the street is around the corner from Monmouth Coffee which I think is the best coffee in the world. Every morning(when not travelling!) I walk Doris down to the The Watch house Cafe and grab a take away Cappuccino before hitting the emails.

     

    Meet UK designer, Kat Maconie

     

     

    kat maconie-bogie man-creative

     

     

    Meet UK designer Kat Maconie

     

     

    Designer Sandal from Kat Maconie

  • Interview with "Intentionally Blank" designer Ty McBride

    ty mcbride intentionally blank square

    One of the great things about working in the business of fashion are the people that you meet. The glamorous stereotype is one of the most off based perceptions out there. Yes, fashion folk dress with a purpose and have a discerning eye. Perhaps to some that is glamor, but in truth that is only a small part of the story.

    Our industry is filled with those that have a flare for the artistic, they surround themselves with interesting people, and they are driven by a good story. All of the people working in our industry are funny, whether they mean to be or not.  They are obsessive-compulsive. They are neurotic.
    We had an opportunity to do breakfast in bed over laptops with Ty McBride, designer & founder of the new line Intentionally _____. Ty fits the bill to a T. We gave Ty some get-to-know-you questions to ponder over #breakfastinbed. He gave us the pleasure of his response in both written and gif answers. Take a look:
    What makes something—a piece of art, a film, a book, a bowl of soup, 
    a song, a pair of shoes—really good, in your view?
     
    I think a point of view and the commitment to stand by that point of view can make even the most hideous thing truly amazing. Without it, for me, you crumble.
    My gif response and muse: Guy Bourdin.
    guy bourdin
    If you were sent to prison, what would be your crime?
    I have two crimes which I commit regularly, both are punishable, both are things I refuse to cease, and both are shameful.
    1. I stalk my lifetime crush. But like, it's been going on a while. I mean like years.
    2. I trick the parking attendant every day at the parking garage I park in into thinking I have paid, by using a very old validation sticker I pretend to remove from the payment machine. I'm going on five months, should I feel bad?
    My GIF response and Netflix go to- OITNB
    broken heart
    What daily ritual that you perform makes you feel complete and why?
    This is an easy one.  A. Iced Grande Americano. B. Because I am monomaniacal.
    My GIF response:
    bucks cat
    You are making a time capsule that you will bury in your backyard and dig up on your 100th birthday. What are the five most important  things you put in it? 
    I have had many psychic readings they all say I die at 91, but I will answer this anyways. But before I do, if you want the hook-up with my amazing phone psychic Denise, you should DM me. She's that good.
    1. My lucky jean jacket.
    2. Polaroid pictures of my favorite people.
    3. A freeze dried grande iced americano.
    4. A picture of me from when I was 23, skinny and fine as hell, so my 100-year old self can feel kind of good for a second.
    5. I have a very special cologne that is my go-to fragrance. You can only buy it at Bonne Marche in Paris and they won't ship it. I would but a bottle of that in there. The smell alone takes me to 1000 amazing memories.
    My Gif response:
    devil wear prada, that's all
    What is your favorite expletive/profane exclamation?
    Sometimes for no reason at all, I will just say BITCH. But not like "bitch", I say it like a giant exhale. like "biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitttttttch." It can be in response to many situations, people scenarios or situations. I am not sure how this started---I am also not sure how to make it stop.
    My GIF response:
    biiiitch
    Name something that other people seem to care about, but that doesn't matter at all to you.
     
    KARDASHIAN MOMENTS. I am 100% not interested, not impressed, and not into it. I do not like it when people get famous who should not be. The entire thing makes me absolutely sad to be American. PS, have you been to their boutique? I rest my case.
    Kim, I don't like it.

    Do you have a question for Ty? Let us know in the comments, we’ll get you the answer. Until then, check out the new collection.

    Follow @iamintentionallyblank and @ashburyskies. One lucky follower will win the flawless “Honcho” from Intentionally _____. Cheers!

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