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!
Houston Galleria’s Nine West store was the setting for one of Houston’s hottest events, in affiliation with THE In Style Magazine. The event celebrated Nine West’s collaboration with In Style Accessories Editor- Leah Karp.
I was able to catch up with Leah and Nine West’s Erika Szychowski, who gave me some insight into the collaboration. The concept came to play during a dinner in Paris between Richard Dixson of The Jones Group (parent company to Nine West) and Ariel Foxman of InStyle Magazine. Ariel wanted to come up with a plan that would take a one-dimensional brand (InStyle) and create it into something that is three-dimensional and beyond where all the other publications were going (digital, social media, etc.); how to beat them, get faster and be nimble. They both concluded that instead of just picking a product, they’d DESIGN a product! Thus, the collaboration with Nine West was born. The small capsule collection was launched in the September 2013 issue and was sold in sixteen stores. The collection was tested by the consumers while Nine West and InStyle listened and learned. “We want to be where our consumer is and make sure we are listening to her, learning from her and growing from that. We have such a marriage between our consumers that this product is what they are asking us for,” Szychowski stated.
The limited-edition collaboration consists of several styles of shoes in chic and edgy silhouettes that are available in select bold colors, as well as clutches and cuffs. Leah’s inspiration for the collection was essentially every woman’s closet. The idea was to have the major key shoe silhouettes, clutches and cuffs that could be taken from day to night and able to be dressed up or down. InStyle also wanted to bring their brand, “Shop Like an Editor,” which was in the magazine every month, to the consumer (because they literally are shopping an editor’s closet).
A DJ spun tunes while guests mingled, shopped and partook in the sweeping candy bar and light bites. There were also giveaways throughout the evening. I was actually one of the lucky winners and I chose the Gamin D’Orsay heel in red. I did have to go down in size as the shoes ran a full size too big. I’m also eyeing the Aila and the Izzy. The collection’s price points varies from $79 for footwear to $129 for a clutch. For Fall, expect to see more jewelry, bag shapes and of course- shoes!
“It’s sort of a dream come true for me to have the chance to do this and to partner with Nine West.” – Leah Karp