In honour of Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power’s new book, The Career Code: Must-Know Rules for a Strategic, Stylish, and Self-Made Career ($22), we’re kicking off an interview series featuring 17 questions (in honour of the book’s 17 chapters) about the work lives of the most inspirational female leaders in the fashion industry. So far, we’ve tapped Rebecca Minkoff, Sally Singer, Rachel Zoe, and more. Up next? The woman behind one of Australia's biggest shoe brands, Beau Coops, Carrie Cooper.
There are a few Australian shoe brands that are our regular go-tos, and Beau Coops is one of them. The brains behind the label, Carrie Cooper, divides her time between London, Sydney, and Italy (AKA living the dream), working on every aspect of the creative process. From the design room to factory visits, and inspirational trips, her passion and strong commitment to the brand is evident in every collection. Beau Coops has achieved what many brands hope to—it’s instantly recognisable, meaning it’s stayed true to its brand ethos.
The brand recently collaborated with Romance Was Born on a collection titled ‘Whispering Angel’ (as seen in our exclusive editorial with Brooke Testoni), and our prediction is the collection is about to send Beau Coops global.
Keep scrolling to read our interview with Cooper, and find out how she got to where she is.
"As a cobbler! Easiest way to describe what I do."
"I spend 80 percent of my job making new last and heel shapes [read more about a shoe last here]. I spend weeks at a time in Italy working with my last maker, doing many rounds of development to create the perfect shapes."
"Oh wow, that was a very long time ago—I think it would have been in the vein of an asymmetrical skirt over black crop pants and probably a black shoe string singlet (very Charmed-esqe)."
"Milan stores, Paris showrooms, London markets, leather fairs in Milan, and friends’ libraries of collected books."
"Working for a sports brand for six months—a large corporation, with many loops and hoops and very strange method to creativity."
"Courage, pro-activity, creativity, smart, patient to their learning and journey, and loyalty—that’s six, sorry, I couldn’t cut it down!"
"I feel that dressing up and making an effort makes me feel empowered. I always make an effort for every day I work. I keep my outfits simple, and sleek."
"Aside from all round amazing—probably silly. I like to have fun with the people that work with me."
"I go meet up with a friend that I admire and chat. It gets the creativity flowing."
"Honestly and respectfully."
"Grilled seafood with loads of fresh lemon juice and a pasta—on the beach next to my factories in Italy."
"That we got to where we are quickly—it took very long hours, a lot of ‘sucking it up’ and many years."
"Every morning starts with an espresso and chats in my kitchen, and play time with the cat. The evenings are very changeable—my only rule is to take off makeup and shower before bed."
"If you’re ever unhappy, remember the last time that you were, and work your little butt off to get back there!"
"Designing for Romance Was Born and my label, too many shoes, not enough feet."