A Shoe + A With The Kirna Zabête Gals
One of the perks to working in Soho is that we can practically feel the coolness that is Kirna Zabête radiating all the way from their Greene Street boutique. On Wednesday night, however, founders Beth Buccini and Sarah Easley took their It-factor uptown to toast the second month of their ongoing collaboration with Nine West. We sat down with the retail mavens to talk sneaky seasons, footwear trends, and shoes that help you “soldier on”…even when it’s still slushy in springtime.
Tell us a bit about this month’s collection.
Sarah: For us, typically we love print and color and really cheerful things, but March is a sneaky month, because it kind of sounds like spring but really it’s winter. So all of the shoes are tall and black to help you soldier on.
Beth: But no more boots, because who can do boots in March?
Sarah: It’s a very directional nod to fashion, but realistic in that you’re probably not ready for like a print sandal or something crazy. So it’s a soldier on, transitional month. The sporty wedge is really great with the leather leggings that you’re probably wearing or the tights that you’re probably wearing and it can ground a floaty print dress with a blazer or jean jacket or leather jacket. And then there’s the femme fatale [Jois] style with a dress or a pencil skirt or something Givenchy and strong. And then the other shoe, the flat, it has the attitude of a heel.
For February you designed ostrich feather sandals in celebration of “impractical footwear” — which, by the way, we love. Were you trying to balance that out with something a bit more practical for March?
Beth: What we always say is that women change shoes in reality at least twice a day. Everyone does it; that is how we operate. That is a way to get through life. So we’ve offered solutions to get you through life. The wedge you could really wear all day long. It’s comfortable, it’s easy, but you still feel cool. Otherwise you’re going from a flat with attitude to a heel with attitude.
Sarah: We also think that our girl already has a lot of shoes, and these in our minds are the shoes you don’t already have.
Beth: These are the fillers to your wardrobe that you don’t know that you need but that you can’t live without.
Was it a challenge for you to think about designing for women across the country?
Sarah: We dress women across America. Even though we have a store in New York, we have an e-commerce site and we understand women’s needs because we’re women and we’re living the reality that everyone else is. But we’re also retailers so we understand how women shop.
Beth: It’s complicated, it’s mood driven, and so we’re trying to offer solutions for the complicated scenarios and also for the mood. You look at needs, mood, needs, mood, and then you weave it together to get what we offer each month. It’s storytelling. It’s a woven quilt.
So the story for this month is “Urban Warrior.” Who represents that for you?
Sarah: Technically, we started with us. We start everything with us, and in March we go to Europe and we’re trying to look cute, be warm, and be comfortable.
Beth: And trying to dress like it’s Fashion Week but realizing its snowing.
Sarah: But sometimes mental comfort surpasses physical.
Beth: But the wedge sneaker is perfect for mental comfort and physical comfort even when it’s snowing in March. Because inevitably, especially in the North, it’s snowing in March.
What spring trends are you really looking forward to?
Beth: We’re loving the pump and the return to the kind of shoe that isn’t a sculpture.
Sarah: When she says sculpture she means the heavy wedges, the sculpted shoes — we want to take a break from that and reset the eye.
Beth: But I think the thing that’s so great about fashion these days is that it’s not like it used to be, with, ‘This is the trend for this, and this is the trend for that.’ So many moods work. You dress how you feel and there are many, many options. And so you can be wacky; you can be cool; you can be chic; you can be glamorous; you can be fierce; you can be any one of those things every day.
See photos from the event — and the kickass new collection — in the gallery below: