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Kirna Zabete Duo's Good Taste

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

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.”