Explain your job in one sentence please:
I oversee all footwear and accessory design at Rag & Bone.
What is a typical workday like for you?
There really isn't a typical workday for me as things are always moving and changing. We work in seasons, so I'm constantly at a different step in bringing the collection together. My job involves a lot of concept building, sketching, working with factories on development of new styles and, generally making sure everything goes as planned.
What is your go-to work outfit?
Rag & Bone Skinny Heritage Jeans
with my Newbury boots
or my Gucci loafers, a classic shirt buttoned all the way up, and a fun knitwear piece on top.
How did you get this job? Did you always know you wanted it?
I actually started out as an intern at rag & bone while I was still a design student at Parsons. When I was looking for my internship, I looked for companies where I really respected the product and their way of working, and somewhere I could potentially see myself working in the long run. Rag & Bone was really tiny at the time, only four employees, and it seemed like the perfect place for me to learn. Nine months later, when I was graduating from school, they offered me a job as a design assistant. It's been a crazy whirlwind ever since!
What did you do before you started your company/freelance career?
I was a student at Parsons.
What's the best part of your job? The worst?
The best part of my job is getting to travel to all of the amazing places where we make our shoes and source our materials. I really can't complain about traveling to Florence twice a year. The second best thing about my job is getting to see people walking around the streets wearing the shoes I've designed; it feels very rewarding to know that people are enjoying things you've worked so hard to perfect.
The worst part is working through the jet lag!
How important is having a fashionable/chic work area?
I think it's very important that the space you work in inspires and motivates you. I'm not sure it has to be 'fashionable', but it should reflect the general mood of whatever it is you're trying to create. The Rag & Bone offices are especially unique. This used to be Matthew Barney's studio, and it was an incredibly raw space when we moved in. We've been able to shape and build it as we've grown to really fit the brand.
Do you email or use the phone more?
Definitely email. Though because I'm constantly working with manufacturers in both Italy and China and it's important that we speak face-to-face, Skype has a major role in the way we communicate.
What surprises you the most about your career?
When I started at Rag & Bone, I was the menswear designer. At the time, we hadn't even begun making shoes, and it wasn't even on my radar. When we began our foray into footwear, I volunteered to do some sketches. I never really imagined that my career would take the turn that it did, and that 4 years later I would end up moving completely into shoes and accessories. I love what I do, and wouldn't have wished it to go any other way.
What changes do you make to your look if you have to go to dinner or drinks immediately after work?
I might just touch up my makeup and maybe put on some lipstick if I want to change it up a bit.
What items do you think every working girl should own (clothing and accessories)?
A great pair of jeans, a versatile pair of booties that work casually or dressed up (hint: Newbury Boots
!), and the perfect white t-shirt.
Do you use a Mac or a PC? (or Blackberry or iPhone?)
Mac all the way.
What do you listen to when you're working?
I've been listening to a lot of M83 and Pictureplane lately. I usually try to listen to something energetic that keeps my mind awake and moving while I design.
What are you wearing today?
I'm wearing my Rag & Bone Skinny Heritage Jeans
, a confetti knit t-shirt that I got at Maje, and my black Newbury Boots
What do you try to teach your interns/assistants?
I think the biggest thing that I've learned and continually worked on over the years is how to design both creatively and commercially. This is something that, while sounding rather simple, is one of the hardest things to get just right, and its something I have always tried to pass on to my assistants and interns.
Have you fulfilled your career goals or do you still have more to achieve?
I definitely feel I still have a lot to learn and achieve; I'm really only just beginning.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to emulate your career path?
Have an open mind about where you start; you never know where your opportunities will take you.