What is your background?
I’ve always been a lover of all things fashion. Ever since I can remember I have frequented vintage boutiques and scoured charity shops for treasures that work beautifully with high street finds. My family is a mix of the Middle East and the Mediterranean, so my style reflects the vibrancy of the places I love most. I studied fashion and textiles at university and explored many different avenues in the industry including design, making, selling and styling before going in a completely different direction. I re-qualified as a nursery practitioner and for the past 10 years have been working with children. Every day is an adventure, which I love!
How did you get to launch Kitty Clogs?
Kitty Clogs Sweden happened by accident. Even though I have always loved clothes, my love for comfort is even stronger. My style had mainly been accessorized with trainers, and while I always loved the look of a good pair of heels, my lifestyle just wasn’t suited to walking around on stilts. One afternoon a friend of mine strolled into the café we were meeting in wearing a pair of what were to become known as the mid-heel Aaliyah Träskor – a closed toe clog with a mid-heel ankle strap. They looked incredible on her, making her simple outfit come alive. There, sitting in the café, I just had to try them on. I was amazed that they not only looked great, but they were incredibly comfy too, making me desperate to have a pair. My friend introduced me to a woman living locally who was selling them from the basement of her home. I bought my first pair right then, in May 2015, and wore them every day throughout that summer and into the winter, styling them with socks and tights for extra seasonality. Not only were they gorgeous “girlie” shoes, they were practical too. A year on and I was ready for my next pair! But this time the lady who sold them announced she was selling the business. With that, a tiny seed was planted and I just had to see if I had what it took to make the shoe line a great success. So it began. I bought the business, Kitty Clogs, some stock, and the golden ticket, which was an introduction to the incredible artisan family that handcrafts each pair of clogs. It’s been an amazing journey thus far and I’m only just beginning.
What is the signature style of Kitty Clogs?
Although Swedish by nature, at Kitty Clogs we have stepped away from the traditional and very sweet Scandi style that is so embraced by other clog brands in the UK. Instead of bright popping colours, our styles use earthy and muted tones, with some styles even including a good dose of stunning metallic leather! Kitty Clogs Sweden is cute, but it’s also grown-up. Each style is carefully created to ensure its look is timeless, elegant and chic.
What does the manufacturing process entail? Are all styles handmade?
Each pair of clogs is handmade in the deep forests of Sweden by a family of clog makers. They’ve been handcrafting clogs since the 1950s, through a careful process that is beautiful to watch. Each family member plays his or her role to create a beautiful pair of clogs that will last a lifetime. They’re made using natural materials, and where possible, we use vegetable dyes to colour the rich and supple leathers. We believe in sustainable fashion. For the most part, Kitty Clogs are made to order and most importantly, made to last. Designed with a contemporary feel for the western market and made using traditional techniques, they’re super comfy and stylish; a statement addition to any outfit, making it easy to be noticed for all the right reasons.
How big is the collection, and what are the key styles?
We have created four collections that encapsulate the characteristics we believe are inherent in women, which are:
• The Drive Collection – sharp, cool and present
• The Dream Collection – ethereal, playful and bohemian
• The True Collection – timeless, raw and earthy
• The Rise Collection – bold, luxe and vivid
What is the signature style of your collection?
We have a diverse range of styles, from everyday wear to party wear. Each colour plays a vital role in defining the style. The style Aaliyah comes in a low, mid and platform heel. The Classic clog was made to last and we fully embrace it in our collections. The Mid heel Fresta’s and Frihet’s are popular styles that are perfect for party seasons, festivals and special occasions (including weddings!). And while we have our key styles that remain timeless, a signature style that has evolved over the last year is our two-tone Fresta and Aaliyah Träskors. These have been very popular in a variety of different colour ways.
This year we launched an exciting new collection, which continues to be a popular line for special occasions: the Bride Collection. Styles within the Bride collection offer women something different for their wedding day, something away from the traditional satin white wedding shoe. The clogs in this collection are perfect for the cool boho bride who wants a bit of comfort, too.
What has the reaction been like to the clogs from trade level?
There’s been an incredible reaction to Kitty Clogs at a trade level. We’re currently promoting our autumn/ winter collection and we’re really excited about the next steps in this adventure.
Have you got any key stockists yet?
At the moment Kitty Clogs is stocked in a few shops in the Hastings and St Leonard’s area, Brighton and a shop in Israel. We can also be found at a number of fairs and have some exciting pop up shops happening in London and the South East in the run up to Christmas. Our online and social media presence is growing through this as well and we can’t wait to see the reaction to our winter look book.
What are the price points of Kitty Clogs?
The clogs range from £85 – £150 retail. Kitty Clogs appeal to woman of all ages. They are stylish and can be worn in a number of ways: casual, cool, smart and for special occasions.
How do you best wear / style Kitty Clogs? Do you think clogs are a fashion item or a summer staple?
The beauty of clogs is that they can be worn all through the year and take on a new personality when teamed up with socks and tights.
What are your plans for the brand going forward?
This past year I have worked with some incredible women to build the brand and get Kitty Clogs out there at trade fairs, in shops and online. We’ve had an amazing response and there is so much more to come. I’m so thrilled to be launching the new autumn/winter 2018 collection. The new collection is inspired by the colours of nature coupled with an urban chic vibe. There is so much to look forward to in the next year – trade fairs, shows, pop ups and finding brilliant new homes for Kitty Clogs to be stocked. The current look book is available here.