By: Ma. Fernanda Soria @mafersoria
What to wear on our feet? That is one of the questions we ask ourselves everyday, then we go to our wardrobe and start looking for the pair of shoes that will dress our feet. It depends on the ocassion, it could be work, school, a party, a job interview or hitting the gym, either way we can not live with only one pair, our feet have to feel comfortable and they have to LOOK GOOD.
Women (I’m one of them) can spend hours looking through shoe stores’ glasses, sometimes they are not even thinking about buying anything but somehow they end up with a new pair of Jimmy Choos, Nine West, Jessica Simpson, or any of the many fabulous brands there are to choose from. Footwear is a major concern in every woman’s life, that is why shoe designers exist in the fashion world.
We interviewed Carlos Molina, an Ecuadorian shoe designer who has been saving the lives of many girls in New York City with his stylish, glamorous, and sensual footwear. Let’s see what is on his mind.
Tell me about your start, how and at what age did you discover your passion for fashion?
It all happened by coincidence. I was studying architecture in New York at night and my first job was at a shoe importer. I started working in the administrative area and then I worked with Franco Sarto, one of the designers of the company who opened the doors for me and my career. I was 25, I dind’t know more than how to dress, I had no idea what fashion was,I learned what I know by experience.
Who are/were the designers that inspired you for your creations?
So far, I can consider Roger Vivier as one of the most influential designers in my style, colors mixed with the passion I put into my creations and my Latino heritage have been a winning combination.
Why did you choose to design shoes – why women’s shoes?
I always had a tendency to build, draw, and create since I was a boy. The architecture could have been my career. I identified with shoe design because I found another area of creativity, and women’s shoes were the perfect way since they are like works of art; you polish them since drawing, then manufacturing and you finally the satisfaction of a perfect fit on a woman’s feet. The line for men is already in prototype stages and will be released soon.
How did you come to the United States? What was the city where he resides to start your work, why?
In 1985 I fell in love with the woman who is now my wife and we decided to start our lives together, we have three beautiful children and New York has been my home and operations center since then.
Do you normally work in collections? If so tell me about your latest collection.
I design six collections a year. Besides a line for Carlos Molina brand, I’ve designed for Jessica Simpson, Vince Camuto, Nicole Miller, Vera Wang,BCBG Paris, INC, Bonton Chinese Laundry, Nina, Coup d’etat y en la actualidad BMakowsky, and Kathy Van Zeeland. For the summer of 2011 the trend of high platforms and wedges continues, an architectural break with a focus on exotic skins like snake and pony hair, accents and colors of flowers have always been my thing.
What inspires you when designing? Do you have a muse?
I’m inspired by my trips, I always see so many people walking on the streets and think that I can make shoes for the millions of millions of people who have to wear a pair of shoes…. Can you imagine that all those feet carry something that you created? My muse has always been my family, my friends, the beautiful moments spent with people I love, nothing is more inspirational than a moment of joy and music that gets me ready for the next challenge.
How was the experience of working with Jessica Simpson? How did youbecome known among Hollywood celebrities?
Working with Jessica was normal, I just kept being always ready for the demands of a major client, like any other client and a brand, you have to make sure that he/she represents the product of which he/she will be image. The trend in my designs will always be in my sensual, modern, fresh, innovative cuts, this is what makes your name as a designer, that way you can always be recognized and sought after.
I’m one of only three Latino shoe designers known in the industry and that has made my brand spread in the fields of music and celebrities.
Tell me about your future projects.
I’ve always thought the future is now, that’s why I’m constantly working to keep myself informed about fashion trends in the world and deliver a product people like and that is accepted either with my name or the brand I design for. The most important thing in my plan has always been to open my own stores and if Gos allows it, that will become a reality soon.
What about Ecuador? Do you have plans to return?
I’ll always want to return to Ecuador, my father, my brothers and eternal friends are there. There are also interesting plans around my work and whenever I find an chance, I escape to my birth country.
What would you say to the Ecuadorian designers who want to succeed in this career?
Creation is one of the most valuable gifts we can have, keeping that individuality in our work is what we will always make us succeed. We want the public and the consumer to always identify our work, the same way they always do with Guayasamín, Yela Lofredo, the unforgettable voice of Julio Jaramillo or the achievements of Jefferson Pérez.
If you want to have more information or if you want to contact Carlos Molina, visit his website at www.carlosmolina.com