Accessories and style expert Kimmie Smith has designed a colorful new line of shoes for the classic footwear brand, Sebago. The 32-year-old editor-in-chief of the fashion blog, Kitten Lounge, chatted with Everything She Wants about her creative background and her Kimmie Smith x Sebago collection, which will be sold on HSN and select Bloomingdales' stores in Spring 2012.
|Style expert and Sebago designer, Kimmie Smith.|
Everything She Wants: How did you get the opportunity to design shoes for Sebago?
Kimmie Smith: My career in fashion began with me as a model, moving on to doing visual merchandising with a number of brands, personal shopping and styling (which I still do). Although I launched a number of blogs, I was also working full-time at Lacoste on the apparel side of the corporate division. Since I was an assistant to the Sr VP of Wholesale, I worked closely with the other licensees of Lacoste, which included the president of the footwear division. We became friends and he called me when he moved on to his position at Sebago.
As a result, I became a spokesperson for Sebago's women's brand and I appear on HSN showcasing new items to their viewers. In addition, he asked me to be a part of their collaborative program, the Artisan Collection. So I spent this summer designing Kimmie Smith x Sebago Fall 12, and I'm currently swimming in leather samples as I begin to design Kimmie Smith x Sebago Spring 13. Time definitely flies and in my world -- I'm designing seasons ahead!
ESW: How many shoes are in the line and what was the inspiration for each shoe?
KS: The Kimmie Smith x Sebago Spring 12 collection contains 13 pairs of shoes. Each season that I have designed, I have been able to create a few styles that have never been introduced to the brand, which is phenomenal.
I began with the classic Dockside Boat Shoe which Sebago created in the 70's and is core to their line for women and men. It was important for me to start here as it is a part of the brand's nautical heritage. With this style of shoe, I brought in a new way to interpret color and created the Buddy Shoe.
The Buddy Shoe is a concept where a guy and a girl can wear the same pair of shoes with a slightly different look. Since grey is one of my fave colors and is a huge trend that we saw on the Spring 2012 runways, I knew this would be perfect for both genders. I used a marble grey and white sole for a pop of color. I also created a Camo shoe with a fun sole that looks like camouflage. I believe that a conversation piece is important when it comes to your shoes. I rounded out this group with a white, pink and blue Dockside and then a fun grey and yellow shoe.
|Photo courtesy of Kimmie Smith.|
I grew up as a preppy girl and although my style has evolved, I came up with the Penny Loafer-esque Cabana shoe. It comes in an all brown shoe that has perforated leather all over; a gorgeous green shoe; a green and white leather shoe; and an orange and green shoe. I love the idea of a simple, multi-generational shoe that will look cute with leggings and jeans. This is definitely my go-to shoe when I'm running errands or going to brunch. This style is similar to a version that the Duchess of Cambridge [Kate Middleton] wears within the Sebago line.
Because a girl has to have options, I also created the whimsical Pontoon style for the brand. This shoe is perfect for going out for cocktails, traveling and more. I love the navy and white shoe with gingham on the top, which is a fun nautical detail which ties back to the brand. The Pontoon shoe also comes in tan and cream, which I have been rocking this fall. And then I went a tad bit exotic by doing the style in orange and white. During a number of Spring 2012 Fashion Week shows, this tangerine/clementine orange hue dominated the runways. So definitely include this color within your wardrobe.
ESW: Did you rock Sebago Docksides in the 80's?
|Shoes from Kimmie Smith x Sebago Spring 12 Collection.|
KS: I didn't have Docksides from Sebago. But Tom McAn was big in my hometown in Indiana, so I wore those. I also wore Mary Janes and the classic Penny Loafers. As an accessories expert and editor-in-chief of Kitten Lounge, my personal style incorporates more of a boho chic vibe with preppy elements. I believe in mixing styles together to create a unique look, which is what I strive to do in my collaboration with Sebago.
ESW: What is your background in design and what else have you designed?
KS: I created a clothing line shortly after moving to New York in 2002. It was a resort line with shantung fabrics and vibrant colors; think [Roberto] Cavalli without the animal print. I also had a jewelry line, which appeared in a major movie and a few boutiques. Currently, I'm designing an apparel line that I'm excited about. I've been designing for a number of years, so it's always fun to do things under my label as well as collaboratively.