British shoe label KAT MACONIE has taken the world by storm after gaining popularity though her signature gold framed blocky heels and striking designs. HUGO SHEPPARD is the only retailer in Australia stocking KAT MACONIE shoes. But now with stockists in over 20 countries and looking to expand into the Chinese market she's definitely on the rise. With the new A/W 2016 season dropping into store we decided to ask KAT herself about the inception of KAT MACONIE, her inspiration, process and the future of KAT MACONIE. Be sure to check out the range online and instore.
1. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START YOUR OWN BRAND?
I felt that there was a real gap in the market for original design at an affordable price. We strive to offer something fresh and new in every design that you will not find on the high street but at an accessible price point.
I was working in buying at the time and working every hour god gave me! I wanted to plough that energy into my own venture, not someone else’s, little did I know that a whole load more time and energy was required!
I drew a shoe and wrote my name on the footbed and stuck the picture on a pin board by my bed, this kept me focused and motivated every day I looked at it. When I had a collection of samples with my name on them to hand, I pitched the collection and sold the brand to leading stores while working around my full time job for the first 2 years, spending holidays at the factory and lunch breaks at Liberty Café meeting buyers and doing press.
2. WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU WHEN YOU'RE DESIGNING YOUR SHOE LINE?
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 wonder around the Victoria & Albert Museum and when we wonder around Hardware stores for interesting metal details. Our AW16 print is inspired by a little metal dancing man broach I found in an Antiques shop in LA!
3. IS THERE A TYPICAL DAY IN THE OFFICE?
No week or day is the same! If I’m not travelling to China or Dubai for business or to visit our factories then I am in the office glued to my laptop or out at meetings. An average day in the office would involve lots of replying to emails, sitting down with my design team and going through fabric and leather swatches and selecting trims I may have brought back from travelling and lots of coffee from the B street Deli on Bermondsey street (they make the best coffee in London)!
4. BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT WITH THE BRAND SO FAR?
Opening our first retail store in China.
5. FAVOURITE PART OF THE PROCESS WHEN DESIGNING AND CREATING A SHOE?
Seeing the final samples after the development process is complete, this never seizes to excite me and give me butterflies when I know they are arriving! Seeing the final collection together always gives me a great feeling of satisfaction and makes you feel all the hard work and factory visits were worth it!
6. PLANS FOR THE FUTURE OF KAT MACONIE?
We are launching a hand bag line for AW16, each bag is made from the high spec sumptuous leathers, gold signature hardware and are very design lead but at an accessible price point.
Take 5 with Hugo
HEELS OR FLATS?
Heels every time!
3 THINGS YOU NEVER LEAVE THE HOUSE WITH?
My red lipstick, my labradoodle, Doris (unless I am going abroad!), a pair of Kat Maconie shoes
ONE PERSON YOU'D LOVE TO SEE WEAR YOUR SHOES?
Diane Kruger! We love her minimal but feminine approach to her style and she always looks amazing.
Power yoga class followed by Brunch at Village East on Bermondsey street with friends and family, a visit to a few of my favourite antique and art shops as we are doing up our new apartment up, followed by an afternoon stroll down the river Themes with my boyfriend and Dorris followed by a delicious glass of wine and some fresh tapas at our local bar.
BIGGEST TREND NEXT SEASON?