Free-spirited and all-around chic, Madison Harding thrives on impeccable style that flawlessly blends modernity with a vintage spirit. They draw inspiration for their retro yet street-provocative footwear line from their beloved Lower East Side as well as New York’s staggering music and art scene.
“These boots are chic, fun, a little boho, and a little rock and roll. What more could you ask for?”
- Madison Harding
“We decided to take a very classic, sophisticated boot shape and drench it in sparkles for an element of surprise. I plan on wearing these with perfectly worn vintage jeans, a white t-shirt and an army jacket...there is only room for one star in this outfit.”
- Madison Harding
Exclusive Interview: Madison Harding designers Hilary Rosenman & Barri Budin
I recently caught up with Hilary Rosenman and Barri Budin of Madison Harding at a trade show. These savvy New Yorkers hit Vegas for a shoe show to exhibit their new Spring 2012 line. One of the great things about working with indie designers is that they do the shows themselves. This means they spend all day in their booth, sharing the inspiration behind each style with the buyers who stroll inside. No over zealous sales people; just Hilary and Barri speaking from their hearts.
These women, who became friends in college, shared a love for fashion and collecting vintage. In college they bought vintage because it was all they could afford and now they shop it for inspiration for their ’60s and ’70s influenced shoe line. A few years after college, they started Madison Harding. The name represents the designer’s roots, Hilary grew up on Madison Ave in New York City and Barri on Harding Drive in New Jersey.
Although their beloved East Side is a big influence in the look and feel of their shoes. This line feels very San Francisco to me. The suedes, leathers, woods, wedges and chunky heels work as well on Haight Street as they do on Ludlow.
Q: What inspires you when designing your collection?
After a recent trip to Nashville TN, we again found inspiration in the past. This time channeling the spirit of the ’60s and ’70s Nashville sound and the legendary women of country music such as Patsy Cline, Crystal Gayle, Emmylou Harris, Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette. We tried to capture the sweetheart image they portrayed juxtaposed with the late nights they lived. This look captures the allure of feminine southern charm and the glitz and grit in the country music scene of an era gone by. The lookbook was shot in Nashville at my good friend’s grandfather’s lake house. He owed a prominent country music label in the ’60s and ’70s and was close with Johnny Cash who’s house shared the same lake. The house reflects the exact vibe we wanted to capture.
When we design, the girl we have in mind is:
Downtown, earthy, sophisticated, experienced and confident.
In life we are most inspired by:
Barri - The past
Hilary - My friends
At the moment, we are obsessed with:
B - Wearing vintage belts as necklaces.
H - Finding the perfect Fall everyday bag.
We can’t go a day without checking out this blog:
The best advice we have ever got is:
That no one can sell your product like you can.
We can’t live without:
B - Red wine
H - Greek Salad
Fav on my playlist right now is:
B - The Smiths
H - LCD Soundsystem
If I could go back in time and bring back one trend it would be:
B - Rollerskating
H - Cloth Bikinis
On Friday nights, I...
B - Chill at home with friends.
H - Cook at home with friends and family.
Redbull or coffee person?
B - Coffee
H - Neither
Which of your personal possessions most clearly yells “fashion victim”?:
B - Fur Coat
H - My Black Balenciaga Bag
If you couldn’t design shoes and you could have any other job, what would it be?
B - Therapist
H - Therapist