The designer duo behind eveningwear brand Badgley Mischka just launched shoes under their contemporary Mark and James line. We visited Mark and James (the men) for the launch at Bloomingdale's in New York to get a first peek at the very pretty and chic new shoe line — which retails for under $300 — and get the inside scoop on their inspiration.
FabSugar: Congratulations! What was the inspiration for the collection?
Mark Badgley: With Badgley Mischka collection, we're known for our evening clothes. So we launched our contemporary collection Mark and James for an edgier, younger, more fun customer.
James Mischka: Young Hollywood was calling us for dresses for premieres and parties so we started Mark and James to address those girls. The shoe collection just followed because it was taking the Badgley Mischka aesthetic of glamour and elegance and applying it to a more everyday kind of thing.
FS: You're known for dramatic eveningwear and embellishment. How do you apply that aesthetic to a contemporary collection?
MB+JM: The shoes are very feminine, with a thread of glamour. It could be a wedge, but done in a beautiful blush pink. There are a lot of naturals for Spring — wood, nubucks, leathers — applied to glamorous silhouettes. We're known for embellishment, so took nubuck and cut beautiful flowers. Some fabrics might even be on the crude side but we add feminine things to make it very us.
FS: Where do you see this girl wearing these shoes?
MB: Our girls wear these day to night. It's really a day collection, they're wearing them to the office, but they're fanciful enough to wear out at night.
FS: Why are women so obsessed with shoes?
MB: It's unbelievable, they are obsessed with shoes. Thank God they are! We did an event at a jewelry auction, where every woman was, pun intended, very well-heeled. They're worth billions of dollars. At the luncheon we gave them all shoes as a party gift. You would have thought we gave them the Hope diamond! It was a feeding frenzy. It was just so cute. No matter who they are, they just LOVE shoes.
FS: Do you have plans to do a Mark and James bridal line?
MB+JM: We would love to, although right now we're focused on this collection. But yes, it would be fun to do some quirky, frivolous styles for bridal.