Get to know our designers

Designer's Notes - April 21

Our footwear is predominantly designed by our in-house team in Auckland, New Zealand. From custom-dyed leather to tirelessly perfected lasts and unexpected details, our designers Ellie & Megan, and our Head of Design Louise endeavour to elevate and differentiate our range constantly, challenging preconceived notions and cementing our position as the home of premium footwear design.

We spoke to the team about their design process, the colour palette for AW21, and whether they prefer heels or flats. Get to know our designers.

Louise Anselmi

How did you get into designing footwear?

L: I fell into footwear by marrying into a footwear family, however, I always had a passion for shoes so was always quite vocal about the shoes we stocked in the stores. When the time was right I became involved in the buying side of the business, and as we began designing our collections I became the Head of Design.

Favourite design for AW21 and why?

L: My favourite style is Daphne as she represents so many of the exciting elements of the season. I love the extended ankle shaft, the unexpected colour pairing of the upper and the outsole and the fact that Daphne is a bold style statement.

What is your favourite part of the design process?

L: Actually the whole process is exciting….from initial ideas, to first sketches and then our first prototypes. Our prototypes are made in black leather so we can get the fit, proportions and profiles right first. Then our colour samples arrive and we see the collection come to life. It is still exciting to see a stranger wearing a design you were involved in, walking down the street.

What advice would you have for someone who wants to become a footwear designer?

L: Becoming a footwear designer is a unique commitment and requires a specialized skillset. We employ designers that have graduated from The London College of fashion’s Cordwainers course, they have an amazing training foundation. Otherwise, a would-be designer requires determination and commitment to be trained on the job, and a willingness to learn the many facets of becoming a strong designer.

Style icon? 

L: I love Cate Blanchett’s style, she is always willing to take a risk, I love that she owns any look she wears.

An essential item in your wardrobe?

L: An amazing well-tailored jacket.

Currently watching/reading/listening to?

L: I just listened to Matthew McConaughey’s book which was hilarious but also surprisingly spiritual and gave me a whole new respect for this actor.

Flats or heels?

L: Generally flats as my job is fast-paced and heels slow me down!

Ellie

How did you get into designing footwear?

E: I went through a fairly formal route and studied Footwear Product Design & Development at the Cordwainers College, part of London College of Fashion. I studied there for 4 years where I learnt the traditional process of making shoe by hand, from lasts to patterns, stitching & soles and applied & adapted that knowledge to make my own designs for university & industry briefs. It was a perfect mix of my love of design, craft & fashion. I love the complexity of design from thinking about the comfort, longevity & style but mostly the craft that is still the backbone of footwear production today.

Favourite design for AW21 and why? 

E: Shore - I had so much fun designing these, they make me happy every time I see them. I love the scalloping detailing & patent upper – they’re such a great modern preppy loafer.

Tell us about the colour palette for AW21

E: We focused on a wearable colour palette with a wide variety of rich neutral tones for AW21. Textural elements of croc, patent & shearling bring depth to the range. Matte gold & pastel pink patent add a super fun element but fit in harmoniously with the neutral olives & creams in the rest of the range

What is your favourite part of the design process?

E: I really enjoy the design & development process, having drawn up rough ideas then figuring out the applications & techniques to make the shoe the best version of itself. When you’re generating new concepts & designs each season, often there are times where you’re asking the factory to achieve something they haven’t worked on before and we work closely with our amazing team in China to think around technique/production constraints and build the product in a different way to achieve our designs. The problem solving, alongside seeing your designs come out to a high standard exactly how you imagined them is the most rewarding part for me!

What advice would you have for someone who wants to become a footwear designer?

E: Often footwear designers never come from one set path, I have so many peers and colleagues that fell into footwear from many different disciplines & backgrounds. Don’t worry about a set path. Being a footwear designer isn’t so much about your experience, more so having a real love of product & problem solving, and a continual drive to learn & push boundaries.

Style icon? 

E: I love the unique perspective of Ne Chainkua Reindorf (@chainkyr) (@ncreindorf). Her style and art are so beautifully linked.

An essential item in your wardrobe?

E: My Daphne boots, I wear them virtually every day

Currently watching/reading/listening to?

E: Reading - The Mermaid of Black Conch

Flats or heels?

E: Boots – flat or high but always boots!

Megan our Designer

How did you get into designing footwear?

M: I fell into it. I studied Fashion Design at university, and it was not until I was overseas when I took an internship in accessories (solely because I liked the brand) that I ended up falling in love with designing accessories. Just like that, I changed my career path, and I could not be more pleased I did.

Favourite design for AW21 and why? 

M: The top-selling Nora boot. A cool/casual boot for all occasions and all ages.

What is your favourite part of the design process?

M: All of it. The design process is a huge journey. From starting at mood boarding to sketching to fittings. I love seeing how far we come from the first samples to seeing it all finished and laid out in the showroom for press days. It normally looks like an entirely different collection than when you started.

What advice would you have for someone who wants to become a footwear designer?

M: Intern! You don’t necessarily need traditional university training in footwear. You just need drive and an eagerness to roll up your selves and get into it.

Style icon? 

M: I adore @double3xposure for fun looks and @rarebooksparis for beautiful imagery published daily.

An essential item in your wardrobe?

M: A white button-up shirt. My secret for looking put together when you have no time in the mornings.

Currently watching/reading/listening to?

M: I just finished watching David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet.

Flats or heels?

M: Both, life is too fun for just one.

 

Explore the AW21 Lookbook Here | Explore the AW21 Collection Here

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