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6. How does your men’s footwear differ from other designers’ work?
RC: I have a vegan shoe. It has no animal products, but is really classic and clean. It’s a classic oxford made of canvas, rubber and nylon. I just got an e-mail from one of my clients, and her son had worn it to his prom. It’s a great photo of a young guy in a suit and tie wearing a canvas shoe.
7. Why did you want to focus on classic pieces for men?
RC: I don’t want shoes to be the first thing you notice when you meet somebody. I like the subtleties you can address with classic silhouettes. They’re not stiff and traditional by any means. They take elements of classical styles and are updated and more contemporary. Sometimes I do some far-out things. Sometimes you have to do some really crazy things to get [attention for] the ones you think are really modest. Then people will give the other ones a second glance.
8. What was the biggest challenge you faced going into footwear?
RC: Managing production is always the biggest challenge — the timing of everything, meeting demands, being ready with the shoes when the customer wants them.
9. What shoe should every man have in his closet?
RC: They should have a really well-shaped brown leather oxford with a nice toe. [That type of shoe is] harder to come by than people think. I like a brown shoe on men.
10. What are you planning for men’s footwear in spring ’10?
RC: I like “types” of shoes: moccasins, desert boots, brogues, hiking boots. I also like to put our spin on them, taking elements of classic things and putting them into other things — mash-ups. So I’m going to continue with some of those mash-ups, but I’m doing a lot more classic shoes with colored rubber soles.