Who was Kathryn Wilson before she became a shoe designer and a household name?

I grew up in Papakura as the youngest of three girls who loved art and shoes. I dreamed of a career in the design industry and studied a Bachelor of Design, majoring in Fashion in NZ and the UK.

Let’s talk morning routines. How do you start your day on the right foot?

I’m an avid fan of starting the day with calm and quiet; walk the dog or do pilates, then coffee and shower/beauty routine. My kids and husband have the opposite approach! Our house is up before 7 a.m. and often playing loud music throughout the house or the kids' favourite Netflix show on full volume while they eat breakfast and I pack their school/kindy lunch boxes. Once the kids are ready, I start my own routine using Dermalogica Cleanser, Daily Microfoliant and Skin Smoothing Cream, followed by Lancome Tient Idole Ultra Wear Foundation and Idole Lash mascara, with a quick hair tidy-up using the Dyson Airwrap (my saviour for fine hair!). I drop our daughters off at school and kindy most mornings, then head to the office to start the day with a team meeting and another coffee!

Your brand is constantly in high demand. What advice would you give designers or creatives striving to stay relevant?

Stay true to your own ideas and remain passionate about your brand and your products. You can't be everything to everyone, so I have learnt to stick to doing what you do well and don’t let the market dictate what you're offering if it doesn’t excite you. I’ve found it's really important to make the time and space to step back from working ‘in the business’ on a daily basis to allow you to stay fresh and inspired, to think big and take some risks for the future growth of the company.

We love that you first launched as a pop-up shoe box that travelled New Zealand! What surprised or delighted you most along the journey?

I have learned a lot of life lessons over the last 18 years in business. One of the most important learnings has been around the importance of surrounding yourself with optimistic, big-thinkers who are inspiring to be around and keen to come along on the challenging growth journey with you. I get so much motivation and inspiration from the talented team who support me in and on the business at Kathryn Wilson Footwear.

“A lot of our designs are selfishly drawn based on what we want to be wearing ourselves next year”

Your personal shoe collection must be heavenly. How do you store/display them?

I have a shoe wall in the wardrobe at home that holds 80 pairs. Any shoes that come in have to replace something that’s already there. These are donated or passed on to family and friends, so it keeps a tight offering of favourite styles in my personal collection.

Kathryn’s top picks for spring:

Verona Sandal in Cornflower/Calf

Gold & Roman Trainer in White

Where do you draw creative inspiration from?

During the design and research process, we are gaining inspiration from so many avenues; film, music, vintage references, and trend forecasts for silhouettes and colour palettes. A lot of our designs are selfishly drawn, based on what we want to be wearing ourselves next year. It never gets old, and we always have far too many ideas!

Read the original issue from READY MAG here

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