“Why do a show in New York if we already have a showroom in New York?” she said of her decision to attend trade shows beyond the East Coast, such as FN Platform in Las Vegas.
Nokes also is focused on growing her brand abroad. Since teaming up with a Milan showroom last season, the designer is confident she can continue to grow globally.
For her fall ’12 collection, Nokes took inspiration from medieval design and architecture, embracing rich materials and bespoke hardware. She also amped up the line with a broader assortment of boots and pumps, all with cushioned platforms.
Here, she talks about her developing design perspective and retail expansion.
1. How has your line evolved since launching?
CN: From a design perspective, the collection has come a long way. [This season] we’re doing bespoke hardware details and getting shapes down that really reflect us. As you grow and get more exposure, you start to home in on not only what people are responding to but what you’re skilled at and what sets you apart. All those things are really coming along and developing well.
2. Are you growing the line to attract more business?
CN: As we expand the business through sales in the U.S. and the showroom in Milan — we’re selling globally now — you get requests for more styles and different silhouettes. So I worked really hard on the mid-heel option this season and also on a low-heel boot. Both of those were [missing] before, and I wanted to answer to that customer.
3. Why was it important to build your international presence?
CN: When we just had a showroom here [in New York] we always had a really great international customer base. One of the things that we were excited about was that so many different regions were attracted to the brand. I’m still excited about that and we continue to see [growth abroad]. [The goal] was to get a good base in the U.S. and one to serve Europe. Because the showroom in Milan is a footwear specialist, it really pulls in clients from all over the world.