Thanks for taking a moment to talk with us! How long have you been with Restricted?
I started about five and a half years ago—in 2005 almost immediately after the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, basically six months after graduating. It was my first real job. When I started I was working as assistant designer and learning the ropes. As the years went on I became senior designer.
The line has evolved a lot in that time. Tell us what that experience was like.
I take full responsibility! When I first started with the line Restricted was more of a beachy brand with a lot of focus on wedges and sandals and a Southern California lifestyle. As I learned more about the shoe industry, researching and traveling, I discovered there was a void. We still keep resort but we have expanded into more contemporary styles and fashion. I try to bring a lot of everyday styles into our collection—things women can wear to work. We’ve just constantly added on. And consumers have responded greatly.
And into what has that evolution culminated for Fall 2010?
Definitely we’ve developed a stronger fall influence in our collection. Fall just fits more trends like the over-the-knee boot trend. Five years ago boots were not as important and hot as they are now. Now it is all about boots for the last two fall seasons. We’ll never have a collection without boots now.
We can’t even imagine fall without boots. Why do you think they have become so important?
It’s part of the fashion shift. This decade has been a conglomeration of previous decades. I think of the ‘20s when girls wore boots and dresses a lot. I don’t necessarily think it’s going to change. At least for the season we’ll continue our boot focus.
Restricted hits a good pricepoint. "Get the look at a great price." It’s perfect: quality and trend. With your success do you find your competition increasing?
It’s helping us expand our business more. My personal style and feeling is that when I go out shopping I want something that’s on-trend, fits the times and isn’t going to break my bank ... and it’s going to last. I’m a stickler about quality. It’s important to the consumer so it’s a 1000 percent more important to me. Perception of value is a bonus because that’s what I do for myself anyway—offering really great value.
We’re launching Unrestricted in Spring 2011. The line, basically, is synthetics but the quality and value will be along same lines as Restricted. The look of Unrestricted will be edgier and younger, more for a brave and bold girl. The design is more contemporary and more details. It’s a lot louder. Restricted is more contemporary and everyday.
The lace-up trend. That’s been really strong. It’s my favorite because it’s such a fresh look for this season. This year everything been all about laces and that’s been exciting. I think OTK will be still strong for fall 2010, but I don’t think it will be a staple for years to come.
What will we see for Spring 2011?
Definitely a lot of wedges. Platforms continue but wedges have been stronger. The clog is going to continue and wood construction is an element that you’re going to see a lot in spring.