We talked to the designer of Our HOTTEST collection YET: Kat Maconie
When we set out to build a brand surrounding women’s shoes, we wanted to ensure that upon seeing our different collections that our customers were WOW’D! A quick view of the styles we currently carry quickly reveals that we want to offer you something unique and definitely something different from classic designs. But, KAT MACONIE, is next level. So when we first saw the collection in February of 2015 (right before we launched) we knew we had to carry her at ShuEsq. And we were even more convinced when we met Kat personally this August in Vegas.
The Kat Maconie line includes the designs we envisioned we would offer our customer. It is spot on. It is as if Kat Maconie jumped into our brains before she even knew who we were, and designed a line just for us.
Do you feel us?
The confirmation that Kat Maconie is for the ShuEsq customer was solidified when we asked her how she would describe her brand. Her reply was “Statement”. And, we guarantee YOU every.single.style. Kat Maconie offers will have you walking around town making a statement. It is inevitable!
*Photographs courtesy of Kat Maconie
So what does the creative process look like for such an amazing line? Kat Maconie says her teams starts with inspiration by taking future trends they love and applying those trends to the collections. They also take their best sellers and give them a fresh new update along with new brand creations. Kat Maconie states that it is so important that new and special touches are injected into each collection. It is also important that the team keeps each season fresh and new because they know buyers always want to see the ranges evolving each season.
Specific to the actual design process…Kat states they put all the designs onto an illustrator and manipulate pattern pieces and color until they are happy with the collection. The range is then edited to create a balance in all product areas, and the specs are then sent to the factory. And, check this out…the next step in the process involves Kat then flying to Hong Kong and taking a ferry to the factory in China where she works on the actual first prototypes to make corrections. However, as interesting as this sounds, Kat says there are many restrictions because the foot creates a lot of complications when designing. For example, the straps cannot be too thin and the heels actually cannot be too high. Look at your foot, doesn’t it look complicated? It is important to Kat, that despite how high or bold her designs are, that the shoes are actually wearable. (And, trust US, we have worn them…THEY ARE WEARABLE!)
So, how was all of this awesomeness that is the Kat Maconie line birthed? Kat says she attended evening classes on purely shoe designed focused courses at the London College of Fashion. At the time she was attending classes, Kat was also doing the very thing we are doing…”Dreaming more than one Dream”. Because by day, she was working on the buying team at Whistles. Kat says this allowed her to get the business experience by day, and the design experience by night. We at ShuEsq know all about intertwining our dreams by maximizing the hours of the entire day.
Furthermore, Kat describes that originally, the concept of the line was pumps that looked like ballet flats, but felt like sneakers. However, the creativity was a little limiting. So the collection quickly evolved into platforms, flat forms, and high heels while still keeping the core principle of being wearable in mind. Also, all of the insoles are cushioned for that slightly later than intended night. ;-)
Did we mention we danced allll night in them…and later than we expected.
And, as we have learned, with evolution comes obstacles. It’s just the way the world and time works Dreamers. Kat admits it has taken some time to focus on the look and core identity. At the start, the team was trying to please too many different customers who were pulling them in different directions. However, as soon as they started channeling their “KM” girl through every design, they started to really see growth.
Sounds a lot like our process here at ShuEsq. Our moms may want us to carry lower and more comfortable shoes, and our friends may want them to be cheaper…but most times you have to be like the dreamers of the world and say “Sorry yall, but we’ve got a vision!”
So what advice does Kat have for the future independent shoe designers of the world? “Do not take NO for an answer! Many of our suppliers tell us that some of our designs are impossible to create, but we keep pushing and we get there in the end. [Be] determined, focus on who your customer is, and create a strong identifiable look that runs through EVERY DESIGN”.