Can we talk? Let’s speak of shoes. Yes, SHOES … they have become one of the most covetable and collectible of fashion accessories especially within the past 2 decades. So it is my pleasure to have met and chatted with Jean-Michel Cazabat, he of the glorious high heeled beauties that can be found in the luxury emporia of your choice.
Monsieur Cazabat hails from France, as if you couldn’t guess, and gained his expertise via legendary brands such as Charles Jourdan and Stephane Kélian. In a very short period of time he left his native country and built his luxury shoe brand here in the USA. In the not so distant past, part of his trajectory included a flagship for his brand in New York City. All the components of the equation were coming together and falling into place.
For shoe connoisseurs, his name is synonymous with celebrity and luxury as well as with women who adore, wear and covet shoes that define them. It was my pleasure to ask some very detailed questions about the shoe business and what part shoes play in the world of fashion. Monsieur Cazabat was kind enough to reply in all honesty and he imparts his insights on various topics.
So please meet the designer and listen to what he has to say. My hope is that he educates and informs... As they say Écoutez ….
1-how do you go about designing a new collection as far as silhouettes including heel heights, colors and materials? Also do you think that the higher and 4 inch heel has seen its day?
I always start the collection with designing first of all the shape of the last of the shoes and the shape of the heel. We call this the construction of the shoe. After I think about the type of story we are going to tell. For example it can be a Romantic one, a Sexy one, a Rock one etc. … Today Women don’t want any more the crazy 4inch high. Maximum it is 3inches even 3,5inches who still give a nice long look at the legs without hurting too much the arch of the foot.
2-why did you choose Bleecker Street for your brand’s flagship store? Do you foresee any future locations and where?
First of all I choose Bleecker Street because I like the romantic side of the West Village. I used to live there on Waverly and Charles Street for many years. It is a very charming area. I am looking for new investor for to open Uptown on Madison Avenue.
3-whats your feeling about the internet in terms of sales and for fashion coverage vs brick and mortar and magazines?
I think Internet E-Commerce and Internet Magazine is what is happening now. The new generation love it and us we need to adapt ourself about it
4-what do you consider to be the necessities of a comprehensive shoe wardrobe for men and women in terms of materials shapes etc.?
You always need different styles from the different moments of the day and of the week.
That’s mean nice comfortable elegant and sexy sleepers for home, Dressy mid-heel shoes for the office, High Heel sandals for evening cocktail. Sneakers and espadrilles or rubber boots for the country side and the weekend.
5-do you think that “dyables” will ever make a comeback as well as true evening shoes? What do you consider to be the most appropriate evening shoe for women?
For me the perfect evening shoes can be in Black or Red Suede. Also in nice metallic Leather. For the silhouettes the best for me is a Sandal or a Pee-Toe Pump.
6-what’s your feeling about this fashion moment where athletic shoes/trainers/sneakers have suddenly become fashion statements?
I understand people love them for the comfort but I don’t feel it elegant at all. I own myself few pairs but just for work out not for to wear during the day. It is not my taste level.
7-with whom do you most consider to be your peers in this business and is there anyone who you consider to be your inspiration or style icon/muse?
I use to admire Charles Jourdan, Stephane Kelian and Michel Perry. Three Designer with who I use to work for. My style Icon/Muse my Wife Tess.