Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!
Sure the turkey, macaroni, and collards were delish, but I hope you can make a little room for one more steaming hot plate of fashion fabulosity.
I recently chatted with my designer friend, Tiffany Chantra, about her shoe company, Dru New York:
Dru shoes are practical, pretty pumps and flats for women on the go. They’re stylish, saucy, and comfortable to boot:
And at around $100 a pop, they’re pretty affordable.
Tiffany’s only a few years out of college, but already has her own line which was recently featured in Lucky and In Style Weddings (bravo!).
Since we’re buds, I decided I’d get the inside scoop.
Read on to learn about her line and style inspirations.
1. How did you get your start?
It all started with a little luck. I was looking for a summer job during college so I went to a career fair. While I was standing in this crowded room, someone came up to me, said she liked my shoes, introduced herself as the head of footwear design at Coach, and then asked when I could start!
After the summer at Coach and finishing my degree at Harvard, I dabbled in management consulting before returning to the fashion industry. I started working at a clothing store and for another clothing designer, as well as going to Parsons. I was toying with the idea of launching my own line after Parsons, when the store owner Kim Phan asked me to design a season of shoes for her stores where I worked, Project 234 and Project 159. So DRU New York began with the Spring 2006 collaboration and launched independently in Fall 2006.
2. A lot of young designers design for established brands, but you decided to strike out on your own. What motivated you to take your own unique route?
I think the seed was planted when I started working with Kim Phan and Mary Ping, both of whom are young, dynamic entrepreneur-designers. They showed me it was possible to make something new really happen, and to do it yourself. The idea for DRU New York developed as I found it more difficult to get fun, unique but wearable shoes, especially to fit the lifestyle demands of New York. With the opportunity to test it out and work with Kim, DRU New York got its start and came into its own.
3. Who are your professional idols? Who inspires you?
As you can tell from my story, Kim is an incredible role model and mentor. She is one of the friends and family who inspire me daily with their own work and life, who have all taken ideas, are trying something different and making something out of it, and all the while sticking to their values.
4. What kind of woman do you make your shoes for?
I design them with the New York lifestyle in mind, but with a sort of light vibe that reflects my LA roots. Whether or not my customers actually live in the city, DRU New York is for the women and girls everywhere who are on the go from day to night, love being on the move, and distinguish themselves from the pack. I aim for each shoe to be as fun, witty, and versatile as the people who wear them, and focus primarily on colorful flats and low heels so that DRU shoes fit comfortably and can really support that lifestyle.
5. Where are your shoes sold? Average retail price?
They are at boutiques in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Hong Kong, and online, such as Project 234, American Rag, Traceboutique.com, Milk, and Girlshop.com. They range from $95-130 at retail.
6. Who are your style icons? Favorite brands?
Kate Moss has great style. I love Marni, Jil Sander, Hussein Chalayan, Prada, and Balenciaga. The people behind these brands all think differently and pioneer ideas into fashion movements.
Want more? Visit Dru New York’s website here OR, if you’re in New York, come to DRU New York’s first sample sale at Gen Art Shop NYC!
WHAT: OPEN BAR, GIFT BAGS, TREATS, SHOPPING 40+ DESIGNERS, AND DRU NEW YORK!!
WHEN: TUESDAY, 5-DEC-2006, 6-10PM
WHERE: THE PUCK BUILDING (LAFAYETTE AND HOUSTON)
Find more info about admissions, etc here.
PS It’s shoe week, so stay tuned for real shoe style, celebrity fashion, and shoe news.