Orla Kiely on Inspiration for Clarks Shoe Line Collaboration

When it comes to design, Orla Kiely takes a page from the past. Known for her retro-inspired lifestyle collection — which includes everything from ready-to-wear to furniture — Kiely teamed up with an old favorite to create a shoe line.

“I have a fond nostalgic association with Clarks from childhood,” she said about the collaboration that launched in spring ’14 and continues into 2015. “At the heart of my brand is always print and color. [So I] constantly reference and take influence from the 1960s and ’70s.”

For spring ’15, Kiely is giving a modern edge to period block-heel platform slingbacks, ladylike T-strappers and smoking slippers. While Kiely’s design aesthetic pays homage to former style icons such as actress Jane Birkin and model Jean Shrimpton, her collection appeals to today’s A-listers that include Kate Middleton, Kirsten Dunst and Keira Knightley.

Some notes from Kiely:

Most unusual job I’ve held: “My first summer job when I was 15. I worked in a women’s clothing store in Ireland called Fancy Pants.”

Stage or screen: “I prefer theater. I’ve been going to the West End a lot recently. ‘Wolf Hall’ was amazing.”

Read on for more tidbits from the designer.

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