Kim found her passion for shoes after working in head office retail doing various jobs for over 10 years, and in the last 5 years having worked in buying for womens footwear.
"Working in footwear is where I learnt everything from the construction of a shoe to sourcing and costing. I just worked hard and learnt on the job." Kim explains.
"After that, I just knew that my dream was to go out and start my own brand. So I went out and gave it a go! And it’s really been the most amazing thing I ever could have done."
Kim launched the brand Iris in March this year and since then it has been an exciting process for her to watch her brand grow and for others to discover the brand.
Not to mention her styles and prices are on point with current fashion trends, along with the beautiful quality of the shoes!
Kim explains more in depth about the process of creating a shoe brand.
What made you create " Iris Studio Lounge" ?
I wanted to create a brand that was fashionable, good quality and affordable, and shoes that were both wearable and beautiful.
I wanted the range to be versatile and have different shoes for different occasions, which is why I have a mix of heels, boots and flats.
Online shopping is such a huge part of the retail world. I know it’s my favourite way to shop. So the idea behind the website Iris Studio Lounge was to create a platform to sell my shoes, and possibly expand into other accessories later on.
Who is the "Iris shoe" girl?
She is a fashionable girl who likes to follow the trends but also add a uniqueness to her look. She has effortless style and isn’t afraid to change up her look.
What’s like being an independent Melbourne fashion label?
There’s always challenges with starting a new label, but I think that’s what pushes me to work harder and it’s also what makes it so interesting. It’s so exciting being able to create something that you love and to create your own vision of what you want your brand to be.
What inspires you and who influences you when creating your shoe collection?
I’m constantly inspired by so many things – from looks on the runways to street style, the fashion world is forever evolving. I’m influenced by looks and trends from all over the world, and I go with what I love and what I believe my customers will love. For my Summer range I was really inspired by lace up and wrap around sandals, blocks heels and textured materials.
How long does it take to create a shoe? What's the process from creating your range to getting your creation into production?
The entire process can take 3-5 months. I start with the upper and outsole design and sourcing materials, then there’s usually a bit of going back and forth with fitting changes and little tweaks to get it just right. There’s quite a process with creating shoes because there’s so many different elements that make it work.
When sourcing materials what's the process?
I’m always on the hunt for new materials, whether it’s new colours, textures or prints. I take note of what’s on trend on the catwalks and then exploring the markets when travelling is really important. I also give a very detailed brief of what I’m after to my team
“Usual” day in the office like for you?
Always start the day with coffee and checking all my social media. After that… every day is different! From sourcing to design to meetings, my job entails so many different things – which is what keeps it so interesting.
Biggest achievement with the brand so far…?
Having the brand on The Iconic has been an amazing opportunity and has given the brand great exposure.
Advice to any students who want to get into the game of shoe creations?
Have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and the sort of shoes you want to create. Getting contacts is always important as well. Be prepared to work hard and don’t give up on your dream.
Five Foxy Questions!
Heels or Flats?
Jelly or chocolate mouse?
Chocolate mouse… I’m a real chocoholic
Your signature look is….
Skinny jeans and heels.
Do you have a “phrase” you always use?
A phrase I love is ‘Never let life impede on your ability to manifest your dreams. Dig deeper into your dreams and deeper into yourself and believe that anything is possible, and make it happen’.
Thank you Kim!
Be sure to check out Iris Studio Lounge HERE