Perhaps having the most enviable job in the world, shoe designer and producer Kathryn Wilson is equally as inspiring in person as her shoes are beautiful. Having grown her business into an international brand in just a decade whilst also juggling a toddler, we were lucky enough to fit into her busy schedule to hear more about her story.
Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
I design and produce beautiful shoes for woman, men and children all around the world. We make them in eight different countries and I’ve been doing it since I was twenty three so I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.
Three words to describe yourself?
Happy, definitely passionate and determined.
Video shot by: Kor Creative. Make-up by: Grayson Coutts
"Feel good about what you wear, confidence shows in your face and your posture"
What made you turn a passion for shoes into a career?
Well I was a little girl who loved shoes, the youngest of three in my family, and obsessed with customising my own shoes. So when it came to choosing a career path I don’t think my mother was surprised. I was just determined to study fashion, footwear and be New Zealand’s name in shoes.
What's a typical day for you?
Since having a toddler in the house, there isn’t necessarily a typical day. Running a business and being a mother, my husband also runs a business of his own it’s a busy time of lots of balls in the air. Not often a typical day but obviously we’re designing two seasons a year so whether we’re on deadline, distributing new season shoes into stores, visiting stockists, we have one hundred and ten stockists around the country or travelling to research and visiting manufacturing around the globe.
If you weren’t a footwear designer, you would be...
Funnily enough I wanted to be a marine biologist. When I was four I was really in to the sea life but then I have a fear of sharks so I don’t think it was going to go far.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
My inspiration for my design especially is selfish, I definitely start with what I want to be wearing next season but it also comes travel, friends, music, music videos, film, everywhere really. Everyday you’re picking up things you that you’d like to use at some point.
Dream person to wear a pair of Kathryn Wilson’s?
Beyoncé came to New Zealand a couple of years ago and I was lucky enough to meet her stylist at the after party one night and after a few photos, cuddle and conversation he requested some samples to be sent to Sony the next morning. She got a couple of pairs for herself and her daughter Blue which she posted on Instagram the next day to seventy eight million followers, it was incredible.
Three things you can't go a day without?
I would have to say a phone call to or from my mother. Some time with Lola my daughter, it’s really important for me to have a base of our home, a structure, a routine so whether its breakfast or at the end of the day, bath time, just spending time together. And great product like the SkinPerfect Primer which has the built in SPF30 - it’s something I would use every day without doubt.
Heels or flats?
Definitely heels, way more fun.
Champagne, every girl’s best friend and long lunches with your girlfriends is definitely something I couldn’t do without.
Top Instagram accounts to follow?
I have a few that I like to follow. @higginsthecat I haven’t met the cat but he’s a really cute New Zealand British Blue that photographs really well. @jillkellett is some really neat vintage images that I always love, really kooky and funny. Geronimo Balloons @geronimoballoons is a neat one out of New York where they do a lot of balloon installations on all different architectural structures, it’s beautiful.
And one piece of fashion advice for Kiwi women?
I just think to feel good, confidence shows in your face and your posture and if you’re wearing shoes or an outfit that you feel good in you’re going to look great as well.
"To wear a daily SPF, in New Zealand is absolutely key"
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