Designer Interview: The Creative Mind Behind Our FP Collection Shoes

We couldn’t be more excited about this week’s launch of FP Collection shoes here at Free People.

Never before have we had a full assortment of shoes that were designed in-house, and the amount of time and effort that has gone forth into making it happen has finally come to light. The Free People girl is one who expresses herself through personal style, and having a killer pair of shoes can make or break an outfit. The fall collection includes styles that we all love here at FP: Perfectly worn in boots, classic clogs, and statement making pairs with fringe, buckles, and other signature embellishments. The craft of producing a quality pair of shoes from start to finish is one that takes a lot of skill, and a keen eye. I got to spend a little time this past week with someone who knows a thing or two about quality soles. Get to know a little bit more aboutBecca, our in-house shoe designer, and find out what inspired the most recent collection!

shoes in circle

Spire Wrap ClogBaroness Heel Ankle BootSouthern Cross Ankle Boot,Tortuga Ankle BootChance Platform

Where did you grow up? How did this shape the person who you are today?

Los Angeles! The city you could never finish exploring. I am a very lucky girl.  Growing up by the beach in LA, biking around Venice with friends, drinking my morning tea watching the surfers, late night dinners under the red sunsets over palm trees, hiking Griffith Park, drinks at the Gold Room listening to Mariachi… California is a very visual, creative, fun, dramatic state.  It made me who I am.  There’s a strong creative community of artists, musicians, writers, actors, music aficionados, entrepreneurs.  It’s very inspiring.

shoes

How did you first step into the world of shoe design?

I have always been passionate about shoes.  Since I can remember I have had these designs in my head that I had to get out.  After being a shoes/accessories buyer I decided to start my own shoe collection. Around 2008 I started working with factories to create a collection and by 2009 I launched my company. It was a menswear inspired, sexy, edgy boot based collection. I love to design the types of shoes you can wear into the ground and still look effortlessly cool.

sketch 1

How long have you been designing for?

I knew I wanted to design all my life. My mom had a sewing room where she would make these elaborate dolls. She taught me all about pattern making and sewing.

holding shoes

Tortuga Ankle Boot

How did you make your way to Free People? What were you doing before?

Short answer: Perfect Timing.

Long Answer: It was meant to be. I had been in contact regarding FP buying my Becca Moon collection when I was forwarded to recruiting. When asked what I would want to do for Free People I said, “Design shoes,” at the serendipitous moment they were looking for a shoe designer. Prior to FP I owned a small shoe company for 6 years.

detail shot of becca's shoes

Flying Ranch Ankle Boot

How was the transition moving from the west coast to the east? What do you miss most about California? 

It was an exciting whirl wind. It happened so quickly my head spun. It seemed less of a move and more of an adventure. I miss the taco trucks, the orange trees, the water.

sketch 2

shows walking away

Ajax Laceback Boot

Where do you find inspiration when it comes to designing something new?

My box set of Spaghetti westerns.

holding barroness

Baroness Heel Ankle Boot

What’s the hardest part in the process of designing a shoe? 

Learning when to stop!

boots in plants

Royal Rush Wrap Boot

What are your favorite pairs from the most recent FP collection? 

ALL OF THEM!!!!

shoes running away

Ajax Laceback Boot

What style of shoe do you find you wear the most?

Western pointed ankle boots. I have the same one in 5 colors.  Not excessive at all.

laying on couch

Breton Heeled Boot

What does a typical day at the office look like for you?

There is not one typical day. When I’m at the office? Charcoal, masking tape, leather, hammer and nails, pliers and pens piled on my desk while making some new leather detail or sketching a shoe.  I come up with new concepts, draw them or make them, then figure out how it would logistically work. Most of my job isn’t done at a desk, however. There is leather sourcing in Portugal and Spain, trim sourcing in India, digging through piles of materials to find the gems, finding amazing vintage materials and working out ways to recreate them. I love sitting with my sample makers forging a new shoe or detail, seeing them go downstairs with a new stitching idea and coming up with a finished product, editing samples until they are perfect.  I love my job.

sketch 3

Are you working on anything right now that you are really excited about?

New heel and clog shapes!  I am making new constructions out of wood.  I love playing with tools.

What are three things that you can’t live without?

My staple gun. Hot sauce. Red lipstick.

becca and shoes

What does being ‘free’ mean to you?

Driving 80 on the highway with all the windows down.

final shoe image

Thank you for letting us in, Becca!

Shop FP Collection Shoes.

More Designer Interviews from the BLDG 25 Blog. 

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Angela Kunkle
7 years ago

All your shoes are amazing. I love the worn look they have, like they are your favorite pair of shoe that you wear everyday. They make me smile!!

7 years ago

Wow! I didn’t realize at first, but all the shoes currently in my cart are from the FP shoe collection. Well done, Becca! :)

Sara
7 years ago

I’m so obsessed with all of these designs that I literally just created a new Pinterest board just so I could pin and save all these photos. Love love love!

xoxo Sara
http://www.restlessnomads.com

Sheryl
7 years ago

Dear FP, your shoes are always rad : ) please consider us ladies with a longer foot in the future. A full size 11 or Euro 42 would be so great. I know you have some in size Euro 41 but it seems a little limited. Thanks so much for considering this, Sheryl

Hypnotica Vintage
7 years ago

Some of these designs are so rad… i love how FP shoes are fresh and on trend but also made out of top quality materials.
http://www.etsy.com/shop/HypnoticaVintage

7 years ago

The chunky heeled and open back black booties are my soul mate!
<3
Aesthetics in Wonder

Lumen
7 years ago

Hey here is something you can try: Jelly shoes xx Their very popular! (Sorry if they aren’t called jelly shoes and its called something else)

7 years ago

Oh my god, I need all these shoes !!!!
So in love with all of them !

xx,
Maïa
http://www.wildandfolkheart.blogspot.com