This is Angela Scott, but this isn’t her office, and neither is “The Office of Angela Scott”–that’s the full name of her expertly-crafted, menswear-inspired, candy-like shoe collection. Angela and her husband Scott (she took his first name as her last) met while working for major shoe companies (Ugg Australia and Simple Shoes, respectively), and a few years later, decided to take the entrepreneurial plunge. Now, she’s selling her line to boutiques all over, and is in the midst of an international tour. A few of her shoes made their way online, but it’s clear her vision has always been to keep it small, keep it local, and keep it quality.
Last Saturday, Angela set up shop at Louis Boston for a trunk show to introduce her spring and fall 2012 collections. You may have noticed a pair of her red and sherbert striped oxfords that went out in the Spreedia newsletter last week, and I must tell you now that they’re even better in person. Much like well-fitted garments (or undergarments), they spoiled me from the second I slipped them on. Add a hand-painted touch to that fit, and I’ve talked about them every day since. I’m going on five days strong.
Below, Angela and I talk men, paint, and Japan:
On her inspiration for the collection:
I was adopted into an Italian family, with three older brothers. My grandfather took me under his wing. I was his little “bambina.” He was a furniture maker, and he fell in love with design and structure. I would go to his workshops. He’d tell me, “Don’t just work. Build something.” He was very charismatic with his bow tie and beautifully polished shoes! He had all of his shoes bespoke. So he was the onset—the menswear influence was a pay it forward to him.
On how they’re made:
I have two bench made factories, so the shoes are handmade by a cobbler. I have two new factories, one in Portugal and one in the US. My dream is to bring everything home, and eventually have them all made here.
On the spring collection:
For spring the collection was about artists and how we could collaborate and work with other designers and craftsmen–how we could branch out and learn other crafts. I went to a craft store and bought some paint and tested them myself. The colors are just “spring.” It was about being playful and wanting to bring the canvas to life.
On keeping it small:
The importance of fashion nowadays lies in the retailers and the boutiques. That’s where the soul is. They’re the heartbeat of this industry. I do sell some online, but only in certain styles. My main focus is with the retailers. I look up to stores like Louis, that curate a lifestyle. It’s beautiful.
On lasting a lifetime:
I’d rather be in fewer stores than every store on the block. I would rather be in business for the rest of my life, and this isn’t something I’m building just to sell. I’m building it to live my dream. I would rather stay small and have it be a long term thing that I can do the rest of my life.
On Fall 2012:
The boots are for Fall ’12. There will also be painted treatment on leather, and wing-tip patterns. [My line] will always be menswear-inspired—that’s not just a trend for me.
On her designer influences:
Marni. Junya Watanabe. Comme des Garcones. I’m big on Japanese brands. I’m very influenced by their style and culture.
On the chances of a men’s line:
I have so many men say to me, “If these were made for me, I’d wear them tomorrow!” I’m aiming for fall ’13, and if not, ’14. I’m waiting for those to be done in the US, and I will probably create a sub name or sub brand for them. They’ll still be traditional with a quirky flair.
Read more about Angela and how her shoes are crafted here.