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Kirna Zabete Duo's Good Taste

The New York boutique's founders discuss style and designing for Nine West.

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Beth Buccini Sarah Easley Kirna Zabête

Beth Buccini and Sarah Easley

Photo By Courtesy Photo

Beth Buccini and Sarah Easley share the same creative mindset. That’s a good thing because the two are the force behind New York-based boutique Kirna Zabete. And Nine West tapped the college friends for a footwear collaboration that kicked off in February and continues for six months. “We’ve always wanted to design shoes,” said co-founder Beth Buccini. “Shoes are the first things you pick when you’re getting dressed in the morning and they’re what you build your outfit around.” The pair also created a capsule collection of apparel and accessories for Target last year. The Nine West partnership will roll out a few shoe styles for each month — each with a different motif. “We thought of every month as a particular mood,” Sarah Easley said. “We had a lot of pent-up creative energy.” Here, the retailers talk cravings, trends and solid business advice.

Favorite Southern comfort food:
Buccini: “We’re both going to say the same thing: biscuits. My favorite is a sweet-potato biscuit with ham.”
Easley: “They’re [good] at any time of day — breakfast, lunch or dinner. Beth leans toward savory, and I lean toward sweet.”

Footwear trend of the moment:
Easley: “I’m more Sporty Spice, and she’s Posh Spice. That sort of dates us, but I’ll own it. I like the staying trend of the sneaker wedge.”
Buccini: “And, of course, I’m a fan of the pump.”

Music we listen to when designing:
Easley: “We always have music streaming because it’s a very important part of our design mood. We both like Florence & the Machine. Beth likes a lot of older music, like The Grateful Dead and Crosby, Stills & Nash.”
Buccini: “I’m more classic rock and classical. Sarah’s more hip-hop.”
Easley: “I love Rihanna and Nicki Minaj. I’ve seen them both in concert. I’m also a fan of Wyclef and Wiz Khalifa.”
Buccini: “I love them, too, but only in dance class.”

Earliest fashion memory:
Buccini: “I remember the outfit I wore to the first day of first grade. All my memories are fashion memories. Every major moment that occurred in my life, I can tell you what I was wearing.”
Easley: “Throughout the 1970s and ’80s, I color-coded my closet and didn’t repeat an outfit unless 15 days had passed.”

Best piece of advice:
Easley: “Do as much as you can for yourself and know when it’s time to hire someone who’s better than you in other categories.”
Buccini: “My parents always told me to do what I love, and I do. It’s really true because we spend a lot of time at work, and if it doesn’t feel like work, that’s even better.”