As if you don’t know him already!
If you’re like me, you were in love with Jeffrey Campbell at first sight. His mixture of street style and vintage inspiration, along with a hint of quirkiness, is just the right formula for the perfect shoe. And now, you can meet the man of mystery behind all of those perfect shoes. Find out where he loves to travel, his vintage inspirations, and what the first pair of JC shoes looked like!
Read my interview with the one and only Jeffrey Campbell!
Lindsay and the Jeffrey Campbell banner
Crystal: Here at ModCloth, Jeffrey Campbell designs never cease to amaze us! How do you continue to create such wonderful shoes each season?
Jeffrey: Thank you (we are big ModCloth fans). We have a giant collection each season. We draw inspiration from many resources, from runway to girl on the street. We shop a lot of vintage. Actually, the buyers from ModCloth did some vintage shopping with one of our team members (read yesterday’s post about it here!) in Berlin this summer—our looks are truly a collaborative effort.
Crystal: Did you always know that you wanted to make beautiful shoes?
Jeffrey: I have worked in footwear for many years—however it was my wife who inspired me to go out on my own and develop a brand after my namesake. She encouraged me in the beginning and still is a big part of our business today—my entire family is.
Crystal: What did the first pair of JC shoes look like?
Jeffrey: Some of our first styles are still my favorites. Some of the early designs where I felt no pressure are still the most beautiful- splatter painted over the knee boots, holographic flats, cartoon inspired pin-up heels and always lots of western.
Crystal: Many of your shoes have been vintage-inspired. Tell us about some of your vintage inspirations.
Jeffrey: Anyone who loves fashion loves vintage; everything spins around. I love shopping with my daughters, searching for the perfect shoe. We buy a lot of extras before we find THE ONE!! We are doing a lot of 70s this year—of course 80s influences still seem to be really in demand.
Jeffrey was too shy, so Ty took a pic with Susan, Sari, and Lindsay yesterday at a trade show in Las Vegas!
Crystal: Is there an essential shoe- like a “little black dress” of shoes- that every girl should own?
Jeffrey: We feel this changes every season, and perhaps more than once in a season. For example: It’s August 2009. (well, it was when Jeffrey answered these questions…) We suggest by September you own an over the knee boot and a pair of cowboy boots!! (p.s. find some great ones here)
Crystal: With offices in LA, NY and Spain, and trade shows across the world, I can imagine that you travel quite often. Do you have a favorite spot on the globe to visit?
Jeffrey: I feel so lucky with my travels, I get to go a lot of places. I sometimes am able to take my kids and wife. I always love Hong Kong, Brooklyn, London, and of course Spain. We work in the south of Spain, it’s like a heaven there. I am also lucky to have a beautiful French wife. I enjoy Paris, and luckily all of my kids are fluent in French. I also love shopping and eating in Tokyo. For someone who loves shoes of all kinds, this is a place where you can get lost.
Crystal: What have you learned (about women & their shoes, or just about life in general) during your travels?
Jeffrey: I have learned a lot. I suppose I have learned that an upgrade to first class is almost always worth it, to never close a door 100% on any working relationship, and to always remain true to what you are.
Crystal: And lastly, were the Michelle’s (aka the Unicorn Princess Heels) named after someone special? If so, we’d like to meet that girl!
Jeffrey: The Michelle’s, one of our most popular designs of 2009, were named after a past employee. Like the shoe, she is glamorous, crazy, fun and put together.
Crystal: What do you have in store for next Spring… and the future?
Jeffrey: We keep this in the secret archive.