Clutch magazine had the pleasure of interviewing Angela and Vanessa Simmons about their new line of sweet kicks, Pastry footwear. The dynamic design duo gave us a taste of what it’s like to build a brand, dished about their favorite designers, and how to make it in the rough and tumble fashion business.
Why did you decide to start pastry footwear?
Creativity runs in our family. We are all designing and doing different things. We realized there wasn’t any sneakers out that are designed by women for women. So we went ahead and created some really fun things.
What’s the story behind the name?
We were just brainstorming and our first initial name was Cake. We kept thinking about it, and finally came up with Pastry. It made so much sense with where we wanted to go and how we wanted to design the line. We love desserts and thought it would be a fun way to go in creating a brand.
Describe your roles in designing the line?
We are very hands on. We spend a lot of time in the office and in meetings. We like to see everything that goes on so that we can give as much input as possible. We would never put anything out there that we wouldn’t wear.
Who are your favorite designers/labels?
Marc Jacobs (really into Marc Jacobs!), Juicy Couture, Marciano, DVF and Betsey Johnson.
What inspiration do you use for your designs?
We wanted our designs to be very feminine. We took inspiration from past and present fashion trends.
What classic kicks do you have in your closet?
Vanessa: Chuck Taylors- I don’t know why I just do.
Angela:I have a lot of sneakers, mostly Nike, Adidas, and of course our line!
What’s your favorite shoe line?
Christian Louboutin, Betsey Johnson and Pastry.
1. Chocolate Mousse Cake Runner, 2. Red Velvet Cake Runner, 3. Strawberry Shortcake Runner, 4. Sprinkles Cake Runner, $65, DrJays
What’s up next for the Pastry?
We are working on our third collection ‘Glam Pie’, which is set to launch in the spring of ’08.
Are there plans for expanding the line to include any other products?
Yes! We’re developing clothing, high-end jewelry and lots of cool, fun stuff.
What advice would you give to other young entrepreneurs?
Keep striving, it takes a lot of work and dedication. Make sure you shine in whatever you do. Also, having a strong work ethic is so important in this industry.