A wise person once said, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” but here at Clutch we’ve found a new BFF—Kathryn Amberleigh shoes! Designed by Kathryn Kim and inspired by the eighties, Hollywood glamour and Twiggy’s Mod generation, Kathryn has created a versatile collection of shoes. Keeping in mind that shoe lovers a la Carrie Bradshaw love elegant design and unique style, Kathryn’s debut collection has a shoe for every woman. Whether you consider yourself edgy, chic, sophisticated or just plain confident enough to pull off any look, Kathryn Amberleigh has the shoe for you.
Take the shimmering “Lime-Lights out” for a night on the town or coupled them with dark-rinse jeans and a simple tee as a sexy surprise while walking the grocery store aisles. “Angelika” will have you dancing on air with winged heels and supple suede leather to make any woman feel super! Even Wonder Woman didn’t have such amazingly whimsical and beautiful shoes. For those of you looking for a more subtle but equally striking shoe, the “Clara” with its suede texture and vintage look will do well in cubicle town. “Nolita” and “Audrey” designs are another two designs that will add that extra something to your corporate or even not-so-corporate attire.
Clutch: How would you describe the typical Kathryn Amberleigh client?
Kathryn: They are edgy, chic, sophisticated and confident. They know what high quality is and how a young, designer line is different from a contemporary and better line.
Clutch: Many of the pieces in your S/S ’08 collection evoke super-hero imagery and Solid Gold routines for me, what inspired your designs?
Kathryn: Old Hollywood glamour, the ’80s, and Mod. Each decade is my “forever” inspiration. I try to re-translate each decade in a modern way.
Clutch: Is this your first collection? If not, how long have you been designing the Kathryn Amberleigh line?
Kathryn: S/S ’08 was my debut collection.
Clutch: What is your professional design background?
Kathryn: I used to be a clothing designer. However, I’ve loved designing shoes, too.
Clutch: As a woman with a larger than average footprint, I have to ask, why don’t the shoes come in a size 11? Are special orders available?
Kathryn: Our current size run is from 5 ½ to 10. but, we are “hand-making” our shoes one by one. Making bigger sizes is not a big deal for us as long as customers give us enough time to develop more sizes.
Clutch: Your F/W 08/09 line consists of boots at a much higher price point and a much more muted palette than your current pumps. Is your targeted clientèle the same for both seasons and if so, please explain.
Kathryn: S/S ’08 collection was my debut collection. I wanted to be familiar with shoe-loving-people. So, we set up the price at a very affordable point, and I picked colorful palette for fun and fresh feeling (but, still each shoe was finished sophisticated.). I wanted shoe-loving-people to test out my shoes easily.
Kathryn Amberleigh’s original price point is a “young designer”. Our customers understand our “young designer” price point and the design and high quality. Now the same customers are buying our F/W 08/09 line (The boots are already almost sold out!!!), and also upcoming 50 styles of S/S 09 collection.
Clutch: What inspired you to design the various styles of each boot design?
Kathryn: Our F/W 08/09 boots are seriously “must-have” boots. I design “what I’ve wanted to wear so badly but, not found in my life yet”. Every season, when I tried to find some boots of what I really want to wear, there were a lot of only 85 %-satisfying boots for me, not 100%-satisfying boots. For example, if I really like the shaft, the heel was not so good (that happened most often), and if I really like the whole shape, the fitting was bad or uncomfortable or the material was bad.
I wanted to make boots that we could wear literally “everyday” and for 30 years.
Clutch: I learned that the “Angelika” design uses goat leather. What motivates you to choose the materials and fabrics you use in your shoes.
Kathryn: I design shoes just as I design clothes. And I treat a last for shoe just as I treat a mannequin for clothes. So, I “drape” leather and fabric onto a last like when I make clothes onto a mannequin. To me, there are so many options of materials and colors for designing shoes. I find which colors and which materials will be stunning for each style when I work onto a last with real materials.
Clutch: Why do you design shoes and do you intend to expand the line to include accessories and/or clothing?
Kathryn: Shoes are the most fun thing. I believe, by shoes, a person can be judged if she/he is really stylish or not, and how much the person cares about fashion. I think a pair of shoes is the number one representative item for the concept of your style. That’s why I design shoes. However, in the future, I will also design clothes and accessories for our customers. For the Kathryn Amberleigh line, I will still keep the idea, “making small quantity for exclusiveness at very high quality”. Our customers will still feel like “modern version of custom-made” for our clothing and accessories.
Clutch: Finally, what does Kathryn Amberleigh carry in her clutch?
Kathryn: Eyeliner pencil. Actually I carry a M.A.C. eyeliner pencil in my clutch all the time. Eyeliner pencils make people confident and stronger.
See www.kathrynamberleigh.com for more.