By Katie Couric
- Tell me about your new shoe line. I’m sure you were approached a million times. Why do it now?
- Earlier opportunities never seemed right. I kept saying, “This just isn’t what I imagined.” If I’m going to ask people for their hard-earned dollars, I’d better be making shoes I want to wear. About a year ago, I was about to sign with this big company, and I was hemming and hawing. I realized my real dream was a smaller line, my name, built in Europe, at a reasonable price point. Beautiful, simple shoes, the kind I remember from when I first came to New York – the Maud Frizons, the Charles Jourdans. And the person I would most like to partner with was George Malkemus, who runs the Manolo Blahnik brand. But I thought, well he’s kind of otherwise engaged. Still, I called him and said “George, I have this crazy idea.” And he said, “Be at my office tomorrow.”
- The shoes are beautiful and ladylike. When I heard you were doing a line, I wondered if they might be more Carrie – more outrageous.
- No, but they’re sexy and feminine. By the way, they all have grosgrain as a trim or accent. When I was little, I wore a grosgrain ribbon in my hair every day.
- So this is an homage to that?
- Yeah. To my mom, who made me wear them!
- Such great colors too.
We tossed out the idea that neutral only means brown and black. Tweaking rules, of like, what’s appropriate for the office. I mean, what – are you less capable if your shoe is the color of a berry?
- This is such a good fit for you. Did you always love shoes?
- I did, but I didn’t have a lot. We all got two pairs a year. We’d polish them every Sunday. I loved going to the shoe store. First of all, it was air-conditioned, which was such a big deal, and stores were nice. We had a town mall called Kenwood (in Ohio). With Buster Browns.
- Buster Browns! Our store (in Virginia) was Hahn’s.
- The shoes were beautifully made. I’d run my hand over the stitching and study the heel. I wouldn’t get to choose; my mom would say, “This is the shoe you’re getting.”