The Kerrville, Texas-based designer’s eponymous footwear line — featuring leather boots and booties with interchangeable shafts in multiple lengths and materials — hits retail in September. Selling for $265 to $295 for shoes and $145 to $595 for the interchangeable tops, the label will have a presence in one Japanese store and eight U.S. boutiques, including Harry’s Shoes in New York, during its first season.
LeCroy’s professional background is in fashion jewelry (she formerly worked in marketing and design at Jill Reno Collection) and she is delving into footwear for the first time. She tapped designer Tonya Hawkes, who has served as design director as DKNY and creative director at Furla, as VP of design and development for the new brand.
“I knew the most important thing was to build an experienced team that knew the shoe and fashion industries inside out,” LeCroy said.
LeCroy and her staff source materials in Italy and manufacture in Spain. For spring ’14, the designer is adding new silhouettes, including sandals, with convertible elements. “I could have just come to the market with beautiful boots,” LeCroy said, “but there are hundreds of brands with beautiful boots. I knew I had to do something more and be a step ahead. I really wanted to be a trend-setter.”
Here, the designer talks about how Texas, jewelry and the quiet life inform her creations.
1. How does your background in the jewelry world influence your footwear designs?
LL: Looking at a piece of leather and looking at a gem are similar. How can I take that raw material and make something beautiful out of it? My spring line also has some custom hardware. [For example], on one of my sandal designs, there is [an embellished strap] that’s like a beautiful anklet. I’d like to expand on that [in future seasons] and add more jewelry aspects to my shoes. Being from Texas, I love turquoise and silver.
2. Do your Texas roots impact the Lisa LeCroy aesthetic?
LL: Definitely. I’m not a cowgirl and I’m not a real country person, but I wanted to blend my love of Europe with my love of Texas. My fall collection is a very classic boot line with a lot of equestrian influences, but also things you can take from day to night. With my spring line coming out, I put in a little twist of my Western heritage, but it’s not in your face. My sandals and shoes might have some flair here and there, but you could wear them in San Francisco, New York or Paris.
3. Has it been difficult to live in small-town Texas while breaking into the global fashion industry?
LL: I haven’t found it challenging because I travel so much. I just spent two weeks in New York, and I’m in Italy twice a year. I spend a lot of time out where fashion is created and where things are happening. Whenever I get back to Texas and have the quiet, I can really concentrate on my brand and what my voice is. I know I have to stay on trend, but I have to stay true to who I am. It has actually been really beneficial to be in the mix and then be able to come back to Texas and focus on who Lisa LeCroy is.