By Ivan Padilla
Main image by Elvin Tavarez
Images courtesy of Kat Maconie

Known for signature gold hardware details, block heels and strong prints, Kat Maconie has, in seven years, expanded from a small range of ballerina flats designed in a tiny West London studio, to over 200 points of sale across 21 countries plus e-commerce. Born in London, Kat Maconie worked at a number of fashion houses where she gained invaluable experience in design, manufacturing and development. In 2009, keen to forge her own creative signature, she launched her eponymous label and was immediately feted as a rising British star and in 2013 was named Drapers shoe designer of the year. Needless to say, the award winning London footwear designer has carved out a space for herself in the fashion world — though it hasn’t been easy. We sat down with Kat to talk shop, advice, and design.

Shop Kat Maconie

Ivan Padilla: What does it really take to run a successful fashion label?
Kat Maconie: Patience is key. It doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time to define everything from the brand’s identity to sourcing great suppliers and building a loyal customer base. You definitely need to be prepared to ride some stormy waves along the route and so determination is also key.

IP: You were working in buying and product development for another company. At what point did you decide it’s time to start your own label?
KM: I was an A-star day dreamer at school and much of that time was spent dreaming of running my own brand. From as long as I can remember I wanted to have my own label, I made it a reality after I naïvely thought I knew enough from my past product development, design and buying roles to start my own line — I was wrong! I wish I knew what I know now before I started!

Kat Maconie mood board

IP: How did the iconic Kat Maconie block heel come to be?
KM: My shoes are for women who live similar life styles to me, city girls who always need an extra 10 mins in the day and end up running from meeting to dog walk to after work drinks to dinner or party and so she wants shoes that stand out but she doesn’t want to totter around on tiny stilettos hence the block. The gold frame detail came from a 1970s Richard Ogden gold framed square ring my mother gave me for my 21st birthday.

IP: Any advice for emerging designers / creatives?
KM: Make sure what you are launching has a point of difference and strong identity; this has really helped me get the brand off the ground, it is very very competitive out there and so what you are launching needs to stand out and be memorable.

On set

IP: What are you currently listening to?
KM: My wedding playlist, we are getting married in Capri and our friends are flying over for a 3 day party and so it needs to be amazing but long!

IP: Something most people wouldn’t know about Kat Maconie?
KM: I used to downhill ski race.

IP: What’s next on the horizon for Kat Maconie?
KM: We are launching a bag line and a cosmetics line next year – expect colour, colour and more colour!

Kat Maconie