First Look at Kristen Randolph

According to Kristen Randolph, change is good.

The Virginia Beach, Va.-based entrepreneur has come up with an eponymous collection of women’s shoes and sandals featuring removable ornaments, allowing consumers to turn a single style into multiple looks. “I hope to change how women think about their shoes,” Randolph said of the spring launch. “I want them to have flexibility in their look — serious one minute, playful or edgy the next — all with the same shoe. They will no longer need a closet full of shoes to accomplish this.”

Randolph, a former attorney, left the profession two years ago to pursue the shoe business full time. “When I was busy logging my hours as a prosecutor, I would have loved to have that one statement [footwear] piece that could take my outfit from the courtroom to cocktails without having to pull a complete wardrobe 180,” she said. “It would have been wonderful to wear a fitted dress under a jacket to court with a pair of naked shoes — without ornaments — then at the end of the day shed my jacket, put on red lipstick, pop on a [shoe] accessory and be ready for a club.”

Randolph added that she had travelers in mind when conceiving the brand, noting that with the removable elements, women can create a variety of looks, making packing so much easier.

Randolph designed the line and tapped a small Brazilian factory to make the shoes. That collection includes a 5-inch platform sandal and 4 1/2-inch platform pump, retailing from $265 to $425.

Each pair comes with one ornament that attaches with a hidden magnet. Additional accessories, ranging from colorful fabric flowers to feathers and rhinestone-trimmed bows, can be purchased separately for $25 to $35. Distribution is targeted to a mix of boutiques and specialty stores.

Also for spring, Randolph will launch Flipswaps, a companion flip-flop line produced in Asia, retailing for $39 a pair, with ornaments for $13 to $33.

The Designer
Kristen Randolph put her legal career on hold to pursue footwear. With no formal shoe experience, she learned from experts at a Brazil-based artisan factory. “We got online, Skyped and did the measurements [from afar],” said Randolph.

The Inspiration
“The shoes come in classic shapes that lend themselves to a variety of venues, from the courtroom to the red carpet,” said Randolph. “The interchangeable accessories transform the look so [women] can live in the moment, taking their style from sensible to spontaneous.”

The Buzz
“I’m always looking for different things,” said Donna Pelous, owner of women’s boutique Moon Pize in Rosemary Beach, Fla. Pelous, who is also a professional interior designer, said she was attracted to the range of textures and fabrics, in combination with the novelty ornaments.

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