Category - People

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Footwear Designer- Jerome C. Rousseau
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Michaela Kuechenhoff- Designer of Micha Designs
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Matt Kaye- Designer at Bazango Creative

Footwear Designer- Jerome C. Rousseau

Kindly move over Mr. Blahnik…There’s a fab footwear designer that everyone NEEDS to know about! LA-based Jerome C. Rousseau is the latest “IT” designer to hit the mainstream with his impeccable taste of unique silhouettes. Jerome is like ‘the guy next door’ and quite delightful. So, I was honored when he invited me over to his new studio in Hollywood one afternoon to catch up (from our first introduction at MAGIC back in August). The studio space was still being renovated at the time, but the majority of the work was done. All the shoes had their respective places on the shelves, so it was easy to pour over them. Jerome was kind enough for show me some of the other shoes that weren’t at MAGIC and showed me some sketches for his Spring 2012 collection. All I can say is: Bellisimo!!! Seductive femininity at its finest! We also had a more in-depth discussion about his line, which launched in Fall 2008. His fascination of shoes and design started back in the 90s, when he saw the band, Deee-Lite on MTV and noticed their platform shoes. It was during an art class in high school, when he found himself drawing the shoes from the video and realized that he wanted to design shoes. He studied at Cordwainers College and worked for several shoe designers in London before moving out to Los Angeles. It turned out to be a great move for him, because things took off- from a feature in British Vogue to Charlize Theron wearing a pair of his shoes. Inspiration for his collections vary from season to season. He doesn’t do any research, he credits whatever he’s loving a few months beforehand (whether it be a painting, a musician, a sculpture, artist- Kazimir Malevich, muse- Siobhan Fahey and being in California…) and uses that for some inspiration. He loves designing peep-toe booties and loves simplicity and simple peep-toe pumps (especially the ones that show just the right amount of toe cleavage). Fans of the peep-toe staple include: Charlize Theron, Cameron Diaz and Katie Holmes. What makes the Jerome C. Rousseau brand stand out among other high-end shoe brands is that inspiration is very important to him. Also, the cut and silhouette of the shoe makes it very distinctive, like where it’s cut and where it hits the foot. Prices for the line range from $495-1,200…depending on material. The Spring 2012 collection is inspired by British artist, who is based in New York- James Nares. Jerome loves the simplicity of the large paintings and the richness in the colors and shapes. He mentioned that the collection will be minimal and feminine, but also a little flirty (with some references to Marilyn Monroe as well). Boutiques in LA that carry Jerome C. Rousseau include: Arcade on Melrose, Madison in Beverly Hills, Fred Segal in Santa Monica and Saks 5th Ave in Beverly Hills. For more information on the brand, go to his website. To schedule an appointment, etc., email Ali at: Ali@jeromerousseau.com. Thanks again for having me stop by, Jerome, Ali and Renee!

Michaela Kuechenhoff- Designer of Micha Designs

While I was at the Focus Fashion Show, I was introduced to a bubbly designer named Michaela. She showed me her jewelry collection, which consisted of  handmade, one-of-a-kind, avant-garde necklaces made from vintage watch pieces, belt buckles, brooches  feathers, etc.  Let’s just say- I was HOOKED! Her company was founded in 1997 and her mission is “Go Green.” She uses recycled and vintage materials while also using ‘offbeat’ materials like: leather, feathers, lace, door knockers, brooches, fabric roses, scrabble pieces, doilies, etc. Her mission “is to show that you do not have to compromise beauty to ‘go green’.” She gets inspired by materials, odds and ends from swap meets. She does not work from a sketch, thus allowing the creations to develop organically, draping materials over a mannequin. A few of her signature pieces are: “What time is it?”, “Buckle Up” and Hardware Deluxe Designs. She sells her pieces at numerous style houses, boutiques, Nordstrom’s, Bloomingdale’s and trunk shows. Her price points range from $40-300. Her necklaces are very popular with celebrities, including: Jessica Simpson, Kourtney Kardashian, Fergie and Audrey Kitching. I look forward to seeing more of Michaela’s unique pieces on the red carpet or out-and-about. For more information or to purchase, go to her website or contact Michaela at micha@michadesign.com.

Matt Kaye- Designer at Bazango Creative

Bazango Creative was the name that first popped into comedian Matt Kaye’s head when thinking of names for his apparel company. He is an eco-friendly company that takes thrift and new apparel  and turns them into works of art. The idea came to him during the ten years he was a house painter, people would offer money for his paint-splattered pants…and so it went from there. He found an investor and so, this past February, Bazango Creative was born. He paints a menagerie of colors and draws Johnathan Winters-type cartoon characters on jackets, shoes, tees, pants and dresses for men and women. He can paint on most types of fabrics, except coarse materials found on sweaters; but loves working with Dickies, which holds paints well, like canvas. Matt finds inspiration while looking through Juxtapose, graffiti magazines and the art of Jean-Michel Basquiat (*1960-1988* Of the Warhol era). He is currently selling online and at Monogrammit on Robertson Blvd, but wants to ultimately sell to more boutiques. His jackets and pants go for $390.00, long sleeve shirts go for $155.00 and tees for $120.00. For more info and to purchase a one-of-a-kind Bazango creation, simply check out the brand on Facebook!

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