Tell us a little about yourself and about your business…
I’ve been passionate about shoes since my teenage years. I launched the Kathryn Wilson brand in 2003, at 23. We now supply to over 100 boutiques throughout New Zealand and have three flagship stores in Auckland along with our online store.
What were the first pair of shoes you remember coveting?
When I was 7 I had a pair of white leather shoes with a pointed toe, which I was only allowed to wear for special occasions. They were my favourite because they made a ‘clop clop’ noise when I walked – like my mum’s shoes!
How many shoes do you currently own?
I rotate my shoes out with friends and family… So usually somewhere around 100 pairs that I’m wearing.
How would you describe your aesthetic/ brand?
Playful, colourful, unique.
Where do you get inspiration?
Friends, travel, music, film, music videos, people on the streets around the world…
What have been some career highlights?
Meeting Jimmy Choo in Malaysia and later hosting him in New Zealand for a cocktail event celebrating our love of shoes. He’s an incredibly humble designer and a true artist and craftsman. Also having Beyonce post a photo of our Karlya loafer and Little Miss Wilson shoes on Instagram after she took home a pair for herself and her daughter Blue Ivy while here in 2013.
What’s a ‘typical’ work day for you right now?
Haha, there’s no such thing! Being part of a small business often means you’re across every aspect of the business, so each day is very different. This week I’ve been at head office for a day to catch up with the online marketing team, helped out at a campaign shoot for our Miss Wilson Summer 16 collection, spent the day in our Herne Bay office casting models and preparing styling and a running order for a catwalk show next week. All the while I’m on design deadline for Winter 17, so hopefully tomorrow I get some time to shut myself in a quiet room and draw out some ideas onto paper.
What should people look for/think about when purchasing a wedding shoe?
I’m a big believer in comfort. Definitely choose a style you feel great wearing so you’re relaxed and focused on the important things – like celebrating with your handsome new husband!
What are some current Kathryn Wilson styles that would work well for weddings?
Our Summer 16 collection has some beautiful metallic uppers in silver and pewter foil, which complement most dress colours, along with a playful fuchsia-pink floral print that would be an amazing statement shoe to wear as the
bridal shoe or for the bridal party. We have lots of brides who want a flat option for beach or garden weddings or just to change into after formal photos, so we have several sandal styles in white, nude, silver and pewter with flat or mid-height heels.
Have you seen any notable wedding shoe looks lately?
I think it’s fun to wear a statement shoe in a contrast colour, especially if you have a shorter dress so you can show them off.
What were some favourite details at your own wedding?
Juliette Hogan custom-made my bridesmaid’s dresses in slightly different shades of dusky pink. My dress was hand-made by a friend also, which was really special. I had a friend Boh [Runga] sing me up the aisle and she also made my wedding ring for me. My poppa who walked me up the aisle has since passed away, so I’m so glad he was there for the ceremony along with my step-dad. We had an outdoor wedding up north over a long weekend so all our guests were able to celebrate with us over a few days of picnics, bush walks and movie nights in the marquee with projectors.
And of course we have to ask – tell us about your wedding shoes?!
I wore a sample pair of the Marellen heel from Winter 14 in silver metallic and changed into Converse sneakers (which we had customised for the bridal party and guests) for the dancefloor.