We sat down with Mi Piaci’s Associate Designer, Jane Walsh to find out how she got into designing footwear, where she finds her inspiration and favourite lunch spot in Newmarket…
N. Have you always loved shoes? Tell us a little bit about how you came to be a Designer at Mi Piaci?
Yes, I’ve always been a big shoe fan – in fact my earliest science fair project was on shoes with interchanging soles. I have a BA in Design and post grad degree in Fashion Design. After completing my study, I worked as a Women’s Footwear Buyer for many years. My next role was developing a boutique footwear brand & retail store with my husband. After around 5 years, it was time to move on and I was lucky enough that when a design opportunity came up at Mi Piaci, it was perfect timing.
N. What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day involves some sales analysis in the morning to see what has sold the day prior – it’s always exciting to see new designs being well received by customers. Then I’ll move onto trend research and sketching new design ideas, if it’s that point in the season. Otherwise it might be specification documents to brief in new designs. We are in constant communication with our factories in China – so the afternoon could be fit testing new samples that have just arrived and writing up comments, or updating design boards to share with the wider team.
N. When designing a new collection, where do you find inspiration?
Inspiration comes from all over! I’m a bit of a fashion nerd, so it could be vintage fashion, something that’s caught my eye via Instagram or whilst people watching. Movies and books are also big inspiration sources – particularly when a director has a signature aesthetic like Wes Anderson or Sophia Coppola.
N. How do you think social media has changed/influenced the way consumers are buying and interacting with brands?
Social media has definitely changed things – you can see consumer reactions immediately and brands can interact quickly and more personally with consumers. It’s easier for brands to build a ‘world’ that customers can identify with. Both the products and also the values of brand and their followers count for so much more now days – this directly influences buying decisions.
N. What are some shoe trends that we’ll be seeing in 2019?
Croc embossed leather is set to be a key texture for SS19. There is also a strong move towards skinny straps – quintessential 90s/early 2000s styling with square toe shapes, foam and asymmetry also playing a part.
N. Who is your fashion icon and why?
I’m a big fan of Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby, the saccharine sixties style subverted by the perfect pixie cut. Present day – Diane Keaton’s Instagram is amazing! Her style is totally her own and she knows how to have fun with it too.
N. All-time favourite Mi Piaci style?
I love Russh – it’s a modern western boot with signature Mi Piaci Lacquer heel. I have them in Pale Pink… but now I want the black as well.
N. Favourite place to grab lunch in Newmarket?
Poké Poké Newmarket is the best.