Meet Kate Gordon, the mastermind behind the chic italian-made shoe brand, ASKA. Seen on It girls and fashion bloggers alike, ASKA is the bicoastal, celeb-loved brand you need to put on your radar. We sat down to talk inspiration, the new collection, and a day in the life with the talented designer herself.
You’re an incredibly talented designer – how did you get into the footwear industry?
By accident! I thought I wanted to be in the Art world and while looking for a gallery job, I worked at Calvin Klein as a receptionist. I had no experience in fashion, but I loved it. I put a book together, took some classes at Parsons and the universe conspired to lead me to my dream job! When I decide I want something, I just go out and get it. I’m also very lucky!
Where does the name “ASKA” come from?
I wanted a name that didn’t have a predetermined definition. I think ASKA can be the essence of the ASKA girl. It’s limitless in its potential. It also has an Asian sound to it which I love. I spent several years living in Tokyo which shaped who I am and my curiosity for design and traveling the world.
Who is the ASKA girl?
The ASKA girl is fun, irreverent and doesn’t take herself too seriously. She isn’t a slave to fashion, but she has great style, loves art, traveling and exploring the world.
What do you enjoy the most about your work?
I have always loved shoes and nothing makes me happier than seeing girls wearing my designs. I love to compliment people wearing my shoes and hear how excited they get. I never tell them I designed the shoe because it’s not about ego for me, it’s just the satisfaction of seeing my designs out in the world making people happy.
Tell us about a typical day in the life of a shoe designer.
I wear so many hats there is no typical day! For me, my industry is about cycles so it depends – I could be in the throes of design, inspiration and sketching or during market when I’m touching base with my customers or even connecting with influencers and celebrities for collaborations. There is always a lot going on!
What are your influences for the current collection?
My fall collection continues with a strong influence of 60s and 90s… as crazy as that sounds. I like a strong modern boot to complement jeans or a dress.
What advice would you give to rising shoe designers?
Focus! Stay small until you have identified your niche, solidified your production relationships and garnered a loyal following. Don’t be afraid to be different!
And the question everyone is wondering, how many pairs of shoes do you have in your closet?
I probably have around 400 pairs-but don’t tell my husband! I significantly pared down (no pun intended) when I moved to LA but I have a serious shoe problem! It’s an occupational hazard.