What are the inspirations behind the SS17 season?

SS17 is a very natural collection. We chose soft suedes, wood, snake and animal juxtaposed with silver; the idea being that it works with everyday life in every situation, making the collection supremely wearable. Georgia O’Keeffe is a big inspiration for the collection, she was an American artist best known for her paintings of enlarged flowers and New Mexico landscapes and recognised as the “Mother of American Modernism”. Something about her collection resonated with us and our customer – very natural and feminine with strong lines and bold colours.

Tell us about what makes the SS17 collection so special and different?

The beautiful colours and the fact that it is a very wearable collection! We have worked particularly hard on using colours that go with everything; tans, denim blue, snakes, and sliver. The Ted&Muffy woman loves silver in the summer and we have made this available this year in every heel height from flats to a high heel. We also have some great pony hair covered sandals and designed some fantastic new heel shapes at the mid and lower heights. Summer sandals have been a big growth area for us, so this season we have concentrated on comfort with our sandal designs. Many styles have been designed with re-enforced straps and there has been lots of wear testing to ensure comfort for our customers. So many companies don’t do this but we do!

Do you borrow trends from catwalks?

We don’t borrow trends, we tend to research catwalks at the start of the design process and select the ones that are brand and customer relevant. Then we filter them down to about 6-8 stories and re-interpret them to make sure that we have covered our colour palettes, we choose our materials, fabrics and leather, decide on toe shapes and heels and then these become our master boards for the collection... this summer our master boards look like this...

What pieces do you come back to time and again?

Loafers and mid-heels in the summer for the Ted&Muffy woman... we have fun with the materials and loafer patterns. Interesting flats are the shoes that our customers come back to us for time and time again. The Heritage collection is another example of timeless pieces - they are the boots our customers come back to us for every year -this collection (as the name suggests) is made up from boots that our customers have always loved.

How have you tackled the design process in a very competitive market?

We have spent a lot of time getting customer feedback over the season; we have also put a “Thought Board” in the store as our customer is at the centre of everything we do. We use it to test ideas, new colours and materials to see how far we can push our customers... sometimes the results are very surprising! We also work with fit on all our products to make sure everything is in the right place across all of our sizes, so that our shoes and boots don’t hurt and also look beautiful.