Meet our creative, intelligent and simply brilliant friends who inspire KITRI in every single way.
This month's KITRI Spotlight is Katie Cary, #KITRIgirl and founder of Rogue Matilda, an award winning luxury footwear brand that champions well-made, playful designs ‘with added sass’ – we’re sold! We sat down with Katie in her beautiful home to talk about her style and the highs and lows of launching your own company.
We’d love to know more about your career path so far…
I started off my career as a creative in advertising. Once I realised I wanted to run my own business, I made the unusual move from creative to account management to get a better concept of budgets and client liaison skills. From there I moved to become a womenswear buyer at Fenwick, which is where I launched the business from on the side. For the first couple of years I worked two jobs in conjunction so I could grow the business slowly. This was really important for me as I had so much to learn on the job, and I also wanted to see where my customers would organically take the brand rather than blow a lot of capital on a huge launch. Working at Fenwick was one of the most useful jobs I had in terms of giving me experience in running a store, trend forecasting, budget planning and markdown management, whereas advertising taught me the importance of brand and having a signature handwriting.
Did you always know that you wanted to start your own shoe brand?
Not at all! I’d known since university that I wanted to run my own company but I had no idea what it would entail. I think I was initially looking into a tech idea!
What’s the biggest challenge you have faced since launching your own company?
At the beginning I found being solo quite tricky. Although it’s great from the point of view of creative direction - it makes any tough days, failures and even successes less of a shared experience. No one understands quite how personal a bad customer email can be when you’re a one woman company, or on the flip side when Gigi Hadid wore our shoes at NYFW in our first year my husband didn’t have a clue who she was!
Who inspires you?
David Hockney and Paul Smith.
What does your typical day look like?
There really is no typical day for me which is why I love my job so much! I am in complete control of what each day looks like, though the two constants are that I walk the dog at some point and I’ve never known a day go by that doesn’t involve designing. I find any creative output incredibly relaxing so I often sandwich drawing new collections between accounting calls or budget planning sessions to give my brain a break.
How would you describe your style?
Colour blocking. I tend to wear colourful suits or jumpsuits to work which allows me to accessorise with fun shoes and bags. But on the weekends I live in black jeans and colourful T-shirts. I’m a trouser girl at heart, but if I wear a dress it’s sure to be statement!
We love to see you wearing KITRI. Why did you choose these pieces?
Day to day I’m quite a lazy with my personal style so I love coordinated outfits - the jumpsuits and navy suit had my name all over them! The cut and colour of the Tara Pink Dress immediately caught my eye too, and as I love to pair pink and red together in outfits; it was a winning combination for our red shoes.
We’re huge fans of your beautiful shoes! Which are your three favourite pieces from your collection?
From the new collection it would have to be the shearling lined Ziggy high tops and the Sky High gold platforms which launch in September. I’m also loving wearing our plaid woven Rita bag this summer as it’s so colourful and eye catching.
What’s you party trick?
Verbal diarrhoea..! I don’t know whether this qualifies as a party trick as such, but I make a mean Banoffee Pie which lots people associate with boozy dinners at ours now...
Finally, what’s next?
This summer has seen the introduction of woven shoppers to our collection but I’m super excited to add leather handbags and belts to the mix in September. I was lucky enough to win Drapers Footwear Designer of the Year last month which has given the company a huge boost and we’re looking to open a pop up shop soon... watch this space!