Posts Tagged ‘designer’

Interview with Naomi Reid of Latigo Footwear

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Latigo Footwear, DNA Footwear’s Brand Crush for the end of this May, is one of my personal favorites. Latigo’s sandals and booties are all beautifully made with the softest leather and perfect for matching your summer style. It is unbelievably refreshing to find a line of shoes that transition so well from the laid back California vibe to the trendy Brooklyn way of life.

This month I spoke with Naomi Reid, the Design Director at Latigo, about her current position and the creative process behind designing such a breathtaking line of shoes. Born in New York City, Naomi has spent time living in both Brooklyn, California and Vermont. In addition to living on both the East and West Coast, Naomi is a world traveler and pulls inspiration from all of her adventures. Whether you are a fan of Latigo or curious to hear the inside scoop on what it’s like to design shoes, Naomi’s insights are sure to inspire your fashion choices this spring and summer season. Read on for more about Naomi’s career in design and what places she finds most inspiring. And, for those of you wanting more of Naomi’s take on design, visit Naomi Reid: Inspiration & Design Behind Latigo featured on the DNA Footwear Pinterest Account.

Full Name: Naomi Reid Current Title: Design Director Latigo Footwear Educational Background: Parsons School of Design NYC and Academy of Art San Francisco

What was the inspiration for the first pair of shoes you designed? I started designing when I was five. Doing things like cutting all the hems on my dresses… just cause they looked too long to me… or painting red dots all over my yellow carpet… cause it looked better. My mom was super patient. The first pair of shoes was designed in my head when I showed up to school wearing a pair of shoes that no one else had or understood.  Since we only got one new pair of school shoes each season, childhood embarrassment was the inspiration… the deep nagging for the next perfect shoe started then and hasn’t stopped. Tell us about the process of launching your very first collection. My first collection was designed on my kitchen table in my little apartment in SF. I went to design school but had never designed a shoe before. The inspiration was fueled by what I wanted to buy, but couldn’t afford or was frustrated not to find in the stores. I was a very young mother of 2 babies and didn’t have deep pockets to fund a new shoe wardrobe each season. I sketched my shoes using exotic skins, leopard and ostrich, bright colors, extreme toe characters and many of them couldn’t ever actually stay on a human foot. But, those sketches landed me my first shoe design job and many of those designs did get reworked into our first few collections. How did your current position with Footwear Unlimited come about? I had been freelancing for the Kenzie line of footwear. I was referred to Footwear Unlimited by one of our retail buyers. I am grateful to her everyday. This has been a super exciting ride! You travel so much for work, what is one of your favorite places to travel for design inspiration? That changes all the time. But, consistently I adore Los Angeles and New York for vintage finds and for seeing what’s happening on the street. I couldn’t live without my inspiring trips to Paris and Antwerp. But, often I find cool things when I am not expecting it: for instance some chic girl in an airport wearing something in a way that looks fresh and super right. It kind of pushes a button in my head. That can set the stage for my next collection. I am always looking, wherever I am. What has been the most rewarding experience for you as a designer? There is nothing like catching a glimpse of someone on the street looking amazing, wearing my shoes! Recently I was in NYC and coming up from the Broadway-Lafayette subway station and literally saw my shoes walking by on the sidewalk. She looked so cute and it made me happy. It’s always a great feeling. What advice would you give someone hoping to start their own line? Believe in yourself and follow your gut. Don’t get swayed by others and their opinions. Sometimes the “listening” to others will water down what you are trying to say and can pull you right down. San Francisco or New York? New York is where my roots are and it feeds me creatively. Even when I was still living in NYC, I felt that there was something essentially Californian about the Latigo collection. Living out here has closed that loop for me. And the weather is better! Best place for dinner in your neighborhood? My kitchen, of course. Our produce and ingredients are better in California, since more is grown locally year round… makes for a beautiful meal every night. And lastly, what’s your favorite pair of shoes that you own? Okay. I have to admit. I have a LOT of shoes. Surprised? But my go-to pair right now is the Latigo ASTRO in grey and a pair of metallic gold oxfords that I made a year ago. I am in love with metallics right now.

Designer Spotlight: NewbarK

Monday, January 30th, 2012


What gal doesn’t heart cute shoes? Designers and sisters Maryam and Marjan Malakpour literally “heart them” for their spring NewbarK collection.

As a stylist, I’m always looking for unique shoes for photoshoots, as well as fashionable and comfortable ones for my own busy feet. So, when I came across this fairly new shoe line from fellow stylists, it made sense that these two would transition into shoe design.

NewbarK is a luxury collection of handmade shoes and handbags, originally launched in 2009 by the Malakpour sisters. Crafted in an artisan factory in Los Angeles, NewbarK shoes and handbags exemplify a streamlined yet contrasting use of materials – leather, canvas, felt, suede and virtually no hardware, making these shoes chic, simple and modern.

You’ll heart these flats: they fold neatly into a small carrying pouch for the city girl on the go. With an aesthetic of Moroccan baboush meets Englishman’s leather slippers, they’re a sophisticated and stylish alternative to ballet flats. Think of them as the grown up version of your weekend shoe.


By Liz Teich

Edited by Piz

Brian Atwood Spring 2012 Footwear Collection

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

brian atwood

Brian Atwood is a favorite among many and for good reason; the Milan-based designer with American roots, design shoes that are the epitome of style. Since 2001, Brian Atwood has poured his creativity into amazingly chic women’s shoes. His style harnesses both modernism and glamour, combined with a raw sex appeal and impeccable construction.

The spring/resort 2012 collection follows his past collections in absolute fabulosity — you can find towering platforms, color-blocking, metallics, tribal prints, polka dots, cage details, fringe, and exotic skins. Pair some of the towering platforms with flare jeans to make a statement or spice up your little black dress with some of the gorgeous fringe strappy sandals. Brian Atwood’s spring collection will bring that “je ne say quois” to any outfit, as well as bring about that extreme confidence within, which only an amazing pair of shoes can do.

 By: Cindy Batchelor

Sources: The Zoe Report & Brian Atwood
Edited By: Ashley Tschudin

Designer(s) Spotlight: Vivienne Westwood + Melissa

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

viv westwood melissa shoes

What do you get when you mix quirky British style with eco-friendly Brazilian shoes? Possibly the most interesting and unique collaboration in footwear history!

“The Queen of Punk Fashion”, Vivienne Westwood, has for decades been known for making “punk” mainstream. She has come a long way from being known as the designer who famously create killer shoes that caused supermodel Naomi Campbell to stumble on the runway almost two decades ago. You may know Westwood as the over-the-top couture designer of Carrie Bradshaw’s wedding gown in Sex & The City but now she’s working with shoe manufacturer, Melissa, to design funky, yet wearable shoes.

Melissa’s shoes are cruelty-free and are all made from synthetic materials like plastic and nylon, meaning there is no guilt accompanying wearing leather or suede. Celebrities like Melissa Auf der Mar go crazy for Melissa’s eco-friendly footwear (you should have seen her when I styled her in them!).

This season, the “Queen of Punk Fashion”  joins forces with eco-chic Melissa’s shoes to create retro styles, similar to what strutted down the runways of designers like Prada, but more wearable and affordable.

No ones stumbling down the runway or the sidewalk in these killer heels!

{More Info}

By Liz Teich

Edited by Ashley Tschudin

Designer Spotlight: Vanessa Mooney

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

vanessa mooney

Inspired by the world around her, Vanessa Mooney tries her hand at footwear designing. The designer creates handmade footwear inspired by the vintage shoes you wish you could fit into, as well as by the arts and crafts she finds in her travels—but there is nothing crafty about them. These shoes are carefully hand stitched with the finest materials and as easy breezy as the California native’s style. I recently asked her about her experience with expanding her popular jewelry line to every girl’s other love, shoes…

LIZ: What inspired you to branch off from your popular jewelry line and design shoes, particularly moccasins?

VANESSA: One day last year I came across these amazing shoes on a trip to Arizona for inspiration for my jewelry line. I was in this little vintage store in Tucson and found these moccasins I just died over! Of course they were like a size 6 and couldn’t fit in them! So, I decided why don’t we make moccasins! It’s so hard for us gals to find cool moccasins these days—what if we made some bad-ass styles ourselves?

L: Your designs always seem to draw from many interesting ethnic styles from African, Native American and Mexican cultures. Where does this influence come from?

V: I have always been drawn to different cultures and travel! I think my mind, naturally gravitates towards the art and the crafts from various parts of the world.  I feel connected to the history of people, accessories and fashion and love incorporating it into my line!

L: How would you describe the typical Vanessa Mooney customer?

V: Creative, inspired and willing to step outside the box with fashion and accessories. They are their own person and can admire beauty in many things!

L: It’s so rare to see the craft of handmade shoes these days; is there a reason that you prefer to make them that way?

V: It’s special knowing that someone spent the time and craftsmanship to hand stitch a shoe together, create it with their minds and hands, in a world so focused on speed and profitability it is nice to feel the quality and skill that goes into something handmade!

L: How did you start your career as a designer?

V: It wasn’t something I was expecting I would spend my life doing but it was always in the back of my mind as a desire and need to be creating! It ultimately came about naturally for me and I just went for it! My ideas for jewelry and accessories are non-stop, there is never a moment when I run out of ideas or don’t know what I am going to design next. I grew up in a family of artists and was surrounded by art my whole life whether it was my mom’s writing, my grandmothers paintings, my brothers films or my family and friends incredible abilities… and everything beautiful that they were involved in! My mom traveled to Paris with me when I was very young and she told me that when I got back she gave me a set of watercolors and papers and I filled the entire house with paintings!

L: If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be?

V: For shoes I think it would be really fun to do something with Jeffrey Campbell! I think his take on shoes are interesting and different in an incredible, .out of the ordinary way! Shoes to me should never be boring, expected or just a side note—just like jewelry!

L: If you were not an accessories designer what would you be doing?

V: I would be working with non-profit organizations helping people, educating them with the knowledge and the tools to face the adversities of life. I believe one must help others to survive well if you yourself are going to lead a happy life. To me art and the betterment of mankind; to seek out a more enlightened existence go hand in hand!

L: Can you tell us about your next collection, and what your influences are?

V: For shoes I am looking forward to expanding the collection this year with some really cool, colorful, and modern takes on old school moccasins! We are also working on some fun and unique leather sandals for summer/fall!


L: I know a lot of celebrities wear your designs, so who else would you love to see wearing Vanessa Mooney?

V: I am always excited to see beautiful talented girls wearing my stuff!  When they could have anything they want and they decide to wear something of mine, it makes my day!

L: What accessory do you think no girl should be without?

V: A sweet pair of moccasins! And a good collection of casual jewelry!

{Vanessa Mooney}

By Liz Teich

Edited by Ashley Tschudin

Louboutin 20th Anniversary Collection

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

louboutin anniversary collection

We’ve heard a lot about the Louboutin 20th Anniversary book but it wasn’t until the February issue of InStyle that we got to preview the Anniversary Collection. From classic lace peep-toe boots to Pluminette feather embellished pumps, the Louboutin Anniversary collection stays tue to the designer’s signature style.

With the “goal to create shoes that add music and movement to the way a woman walks,” Louboutin has changed the footwear industry forever. Supported by celebrities and style icons alike, the designer revives 20 of his top styles — all with their iconic red soles.

For the complete 20 piece collection pick up the February issue of InStyle.

By: Ashley Tschudin

Golden Globes 2012 Footwear Roundup

Monday, January 16th, 2012

golden globes shoes

“The biggest stars of film and television descended upon the Beverly Hilton on Jan. 15 for Hollywood’s “biggest party” and for the announcement of this year’s 69th annual Golden Globes” (Hollywood Reporter). Television and film icons dripping in jewels, gowns, and tuxes proudly walked the red carpet as cameras flashed and fans gawked in awe from their living rooms.

Like many formal award ceremonies, the floor-length gowns often hide our favorite part: the shoes. Those who showed us some leg, provided us a peek at their sky-high stilettos — black, tan, metallic, black, some more tan, then a hint of metallic. Unlike the MTV awards or the Grammys, most played it cool with sopistocated simple pumps, none adventuring outside of the neutral palette. All in all, a ho-hum year for shoes, leaving us hoping for more.

By: Ashley Tschudin

Trend Alert: Bloggers Kick It With Isabel Marant

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Isabel Marant

One blog post featuring Isabel Marant sneakers. Two blog posts featuring Isabel Marant sneakers. Three. Four…the features highlighting the infamous designer’s kicks are flowing in, so why not have DNA jump on board the sneaker train?!

Worn by both celebrities and bloggers, Isabel Marant is making her mark on the footwear community. Thirty-something Parisian Isabel Marant’s designs are a style not a trend – Spotting a gap in the market between the elaborate and inaccessible of the Paris catwalks, Marant caters to strong active young women. A mix of minimalist and bohemian, the designer makes clothing and accessories at affordable prices… that is if you consider $600 for invisible wedge sneakers “affordable”.

By: Ashley Tschudin

Designer Spotlight: Brian Atwood

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

brian atwood

Brian Atwood is kind of like the homecoming king of shoes. He has it all—model looks, great taste, and some serious popularity on the red carpet. Now, he’s reaching women all over the country with his more affordable line, “B Brian Atwood.” Launched this past fall, “B” may be one of the best collections from a beloved designer to reach a broader audience since Marc By Marc Jacobs.

While Atwood may be new to the this market but he’s no amateur in the fashion world. After a career in modeling, Atwood designed shoes for Versace and then launched his own line about a decade ago.

 If you haven’t heard of Atwood, the shoes have been in the ranks of heavy hitters like Manolos, Choos, and Louboutins. His new lower-priced collection will be less expensive than his peers’ — the bridge line’s price-point ranges is bertween $100 and $650, as opposed to the higher end line starting at around $800. (Though, you won’t be able to tell the difference; the details are impeccable!)

I’m personally drooling over the killer booties with metallic heel and the eye catching peep toes that shimmer in gold or silver, depending on the light. These will be shoes worth investing in! I don’t know about you, but with looks this good, I can’t wait to see his launch of jewelry and handbags coming this spring.

{More Photos}

By Liz Teich

Edited by Ashley Tschudin

Jeremy Scott Spring/Summer 2012 Footwear Collection

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

jeremy scott

Eccentric designer Jeremy Scott continues creating a footwear legacy in collaboration with Adidas Originals for his Spring/Summer 2012 collection.  The collection will include a plethora of plush animals from gorillas to leopards and even a cow; not leaving out his signature wings.

As usual, Scott does not shy away from sneakers, combat boots, loafers, and sandals but he does push the style boundaries, presenting a new take on traditional footwear. If this preview isn’t enough to tantalize your footwear fancy stay tuned come February/March for the full collection launch.

{View Full Collection}

By: Ashley Tschudin