Rarely do any of the decisions that we make on New Year’s Eve turn into productive, life changing endeavours—but for Kate Ferguson that night marked the first step down a long path that now has her designing shoes for the likes of Katy Perry. Here, we talk with Kate to get the lowdown on her self-started label, K James Couture.
Where did the idea for K James Couture originate?
The idea for K James Couture originated when I couldn’t find a pair of classy and sparkly heels to wear New Year’s Eve 2010. Never a fan of over the top jewellery or loud outfits, I wanted to stand out in demure fashion; I envisioned heels that would glisten subtly which each step I took. The scarcity of a product similar to my vision led me to create my very first pair of hand crystallized K James Couture Heels.
Why did you choose to work with Swarovski crystals?
Initially, I chose to work with Swarovski crystals because it was the brand of crystals I was most familiar with. After designing countless heels I have chosen to stick with Swarovski crystal because they are truly the best. I tried working with other products and came to the conclusion that no crystal on the market can parallel the shine that comes from a Swarovski crystal. In addition, Swarovski has the widest variety of crystals on the market. As a designer, it’s key to have a multifaceted selection to choose from, and Swarovski provides me with a great spectral colour palette.
Can you describe the steps that go into your design process?
My design process is a process that intrinsically has no plan. I can relate my design process to a famous Michelangelo quote, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” I visualize something in my head that I can’t describe in words that semantically make sense, and somehow execute my vision onto each hand crystallized couture heel. I do not draw any of my designs nor do I set patterns for crystal placement. I have a connection with every design and love the entire process. What makes K James Couture Heels authentically couture and differentiates them from other heels on the market, is this key element of not having a set design process.
How long does it take you to make a shoe from start to finish?
The amount of time it takes to make a shoe really depends on the detail of the design. I created a custom pair of completely encrusted pumps for Katy Perry that took me almost forty hours to complete. If the crystal design is just on the heel portion of the shoe it takes me around 16 hours to finish a pair of K James Couture heels.