Spaces: To someone unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe your brand?
Edelman: Sam Edelman is very trend-on fashion. Very contemporary. Should be special but understandable at the same time.
Spaces: Tell us a little about your Fall 2014 Collection.
Edelman: [walking around the designer shoe department at Halls] You have lace that is very important this year—sexy, lace high heels. Then you have the riding boot, which is my biggest seller. So there’s a balance between the very exciting and the very understandable, classic, easy to wear. We love leopard. Leopard’s the great basic, a staple that goes with everything. Lots of over-the-knee. Over-the-knee is coming on really, really big. Chunky heels are dressy, sexy. We have looks geared to bring out the metallics happening in clothing right now.
Spaces: [a model sporting casual shoes with a short, sequined skirt walks by] I love that blend of sporty and dressy.
Edelman: This is the way you wear joggers. It’s going to be a little hard for everybody to get used to. The look is coming from Chanel & places like that … the influence of the jogger & the jogger literally worn with dresses. We love the joggers, they’re one of the biggest things happening. It started in Paris and it’s exploding all over the world.
Spaces: So what’s next for Sam Edelman shoes?
Edelman: There’s an incredible Bohemian influence in our Spring Collection. It’s Bohemian, ethnic, American Indian, African. I think there’s going to be an incredible amount of handwork, beading, natural leathers, attention to the ankle and the legs with leg wraps. There will be some turquoise but it’s not simply American Indian, it’s much more of a worldly-approach. Sexy is still important. I think color is coming. We’re loving blues.
Spaces: What would be your go-to shoe recommendation for someone looking to add to their collection?
Edelman: It would be the Petty. Always the Petty. It’s our low black boot, in leather or suede. Between the Petty and our little bootie with the fringe, which is called the Louie, you can go from dresses to shorts to jeans. They go with absolutely everything.
Spaces: Some people seem to think the Midwest is a little behind in fashion trends. What do you think?
Edelman: No, I wouldn’t say you’re behind at all. I just shopped the shoe department at Halls and I’d say you have all the trends covered, all the best designers covered. You have the influence of plaids, the influence of color, lots of suede, dress shoes, boots … very impressive. Very impressive.
Spaces: Let me ask you a question about your career. Professionally, we all talk about our successes, but our failures can define us just as much. What would you consider one of your biggest career “failures?”
Edelman: I believe as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become a consummate entrepreneur. But in my youth, sometimes I’d give up. I’d be almost there and then just give up. My wife and I are blessed with great success throughout our career but if I had one thing to say, it’s never give up. Never give up.
Spaces: I love it when chefs are asked “what’s the strangest thing in your fridge?” Since you’re a fashion designer, what’s the weirdest thing you have in your closet?
Edelman: [chuckle] As a designer, sometimes we tend to want to support other designers into really, really exciting things. I don’t like the word “weird” but I would say that I have a pair of bronze metallic Giuseppe Zanotti sneakers that I bought on a whim. I don’t wear them but I have so much respect for that movement in men’s fashion design that I supported him.
Thank you to Halls on Grand for bringing such a talented designer to Kansas City.