Loeffler Randall started as a shoe brand. I launched the business in 2005 with my husband, from a garden apartment in Brooklyn, New York. Now, 16 years and three kids later, we are still known for our shoes, but have also added handbags, jewellery and now ready-to-wear to the line. I love things that are beautifully made and pay special attention to the smaller details, and we always want to create pieces for customers who love these qualities, too.
Initially, our foray into RTW was just for fun. It tends to be the way that, when we expand into other categories, it usually ends up informing the design process for shoes. But in this case, we just kept going. We really wanted it to feel focused and based on things we wanted in our own wardrobes – which is why the collection is quite small and edited. My favourite piece has to be the puff sleeve sweater, sales of which also help raise money for the ALCU charity.
Vintage pieces inspire a lot of the designs. I love making handcrafted things like quilts and knitting, too. As part of that, I love researching old fashioned stitch techniques, looking at old paintings and hunting for vintage textiles. I’m also inspired by beautiful raw materials like wool, cotton, Vachetta leather and linen – finding something special to use is always very exciting.
My biggest achievement has been a successful working relationship with my husband. Brian has been my business partner and husband for 17 years, and while it hasn’t always been easy, we’ve managed to make it work.
My personal style is a mix of dressed up and casual. I only wear things that are comfortable, but they usually have some kind of playful detail. I like to wear and buy things I can wear for years to come, so mostly vintage mixed with special pieces from independent designers.
My favourite piece in my wardrobe is an old Isabel Marant coat. It’s quilted and lined with silky fabric which makes it feel like wearing a sleeping bag. It’s a bit odd and unflattering, but that’s what I love about it. There’s also a skirt I wear all the time by one of my favourite brands, Horror Vacui. Some other labels I love are Molly Goddard, Fanm Mon and Innika Choo because their designs are so thoughtful and unique. Hey Gang is great for basics, too.
If I hadn’t started Loeffler Randall, I’d love to have created the brand Misha & Puff. They design the sweetest knitted pieces for children and babies
Our current collection is full of practical, but stylish, winter pieces. I’m living in our Tara boots right now – they’re water resistant with a Vibram outsole which gives them a really superior grip. They’re incredibly comfy and look great with both trousers and skirts.
It’s so hard to choose my favourite ever Loeffler Randall piece. There are so many I love – our very first pump was special because it was named after my grandmother Harriet, then it was our Matilde boot which really put us on the map. Now it’s Camellia, the bow detail mule, that is the star of the show. However, our Leonie ballet flat deserves a special mention, too. Shoes are the best part of any outfit in my opinion, and as you might expect, I have several pairs.
The secret to great style isn’t about wearing lots of designer names. To me, style is when it feels natural and doesn’t look like everyone else – I love it when people put things together in a unique way. Martha Ward is one of my fashion icons, and my husband’s wacky sense of style inspires me, too – he’s always wearing something quirky mixed with something preppy or sporty.