Get to Know the Designer Behind One of Iceland’s Buzziest Shoe Brands

For Footwear News Emerging Talent 2017, the fashion team selected 32 of the most promising and progressive names in shoes to know right now. The specifications we looked for were both formalized and guided by editorial instincts, drawing us to a diverse mixture of personalities that fused originality, intuition, verve, business savvy, on-point branding, quality, point of view, personality, cool factor, unwavering style and passion.

Katrín Alda Rafnsdottir

AGE: 32
BORN: Reykjavík, Iceland
BASED: London Made in Portugal Education Cordwainers
FAN CLUB: Ada Kokosar, Kate Bosworth. “And I’m currently making pairs for Tilda Swinton,” said Alda, who launched for fall ’16.
SIGNATURE: Patchwork boots in multicolored Icelandic salmon skin, suede and leather.

Katrin Alda Kalda Shoes

KALDA

LAUNCHED 2016

BASED: Reykjavík, London and New York. “We are focusing on expanding in New York and London, so I feel it’s important to spend time there to understand the markets well. And then I like to have one foot in Iceland to keep grounded.”

MADE IN Portugal

YOUR SHOES IN THREE WORDS “Confident, sexy, unusual.”

CREATIVE PROCESS “I’m constantly gathering inspiration on my travels, but it’s not until I take a few days in solitude and I just sit and draw that I know exactly what I’ll create. I often decide on which fabrics to use first and then decide on the style.”

COMPETITIVE EDGE “Creating statement shoes at contemporary prices, which is something I felt was missing in the market.”

BREAKTHROUGH MOMENT “It’s really exciting to be launching the shoes exclusively with Browns in London this month.”

BEST LESSON “Know exactly what you want to say before you go out there. It’s so important to have a clear vision plus a personal and true aesthetic before you start. And equally to have a good understanding of the business side.”

WORST ADVICE “Don’t start your own shoe line. A lot of people told me shoes were the hardest sector in the fashion industry, but I’ve actually found that everyone has been extremely supportive since the start.”

INSPIRATION “I like going back to my roots in the north of Iceland when I’m designing. Nature has a very good way of inspiring something original and pure.”

PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT
“Building a very strong team around me. Everyone from my factory to my PR agency to my friend and photographer Silja Magg are people who I love working with, as they take great pride in what they do, and make me feel confident we have the right base to build a great brand on.”

WHAT’S NEXT “We are showing in New York for the first time in September, which is exciting.”

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