Designer Chat: Celine Ouaknine

Titan designer Celine Ouaknine, also known as The Shoe Girl to savvy fashion blog readers, has a pulse on what footwear fiends want. Since 2008, she’s given her readers a peek into the demanding and ever-changing world of shoe design. “It’s super fun and I feel a special connection with my readers. We’re all just a bunch of shoe lovers, just hanging out,” she says. That
insider knowledge, and her own obsession with shoes, kick started the launch of Ouaknine’s own line Cece L’amour for spring.

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Titan designer Celine Ouaknine, also known as The Shoe Girl to savvy fashion blog readers, has a pulse on what footwear fiends want. Since 2008, she’s given her readers a peek into the demanding and ever-changing world of shoe design. “It’s super fun and I feel a special connection with my readers. We’re all just a bunch of shoe lovers, just hanging out,” she says. That
insider knowledge, and her own obsession with shoes, kick started the launch of Ouaknine’s own line Cece L’amour for spring.

Bright, romantic and with a little whimsy, the line is never too serious, Ouaknine says, adding that her own outlook on life—”seeing the world through rose colored, heartshaped glasses”—laid the framework for the collection. “I love being a girl and I like feminine things. The power of being a girl inspired me.”

Drawing from vintage designs, the collec-tion retails from $120 to $165 and includes wooden platforms and stilettos and wedges with a basket weave texture. Never one to leave anyone out of the party, the designer also added some lower heel heights to the mix. Noticing more aggressive shoes on the market, Ouaknine says she thinks a lot of brands forget about the side of women that wants to be feminine. As a result, she’s using flirty prints like polka dot, strawberries, florals and black and white check with bursts of patent, fabric pompoms, satin, metallic
leather and jewels. As always, Ouaknine has a rosy outlook for the brand’s future: “I’d love for it to grow and become a well-known brand that girls can count on when they need a fun and fresh pair of shoes for a special occasion, or just because.” —Angela Velasquez

Describe your personal style.

At my core, I’m a super girly girl who secretly longs for the days of corsets and bustles, but I’m also realistic. I’ll wear jeans and a simple top and throw in a something girly, like a big pink bow in my hair.

Which designers do you admire the most?

Muccia Prada, definitely. Season after season I’m blown away by both Miu Miu and Prada. And Betsey Johnson, who I had the extreme pleasure of working with for almost two years, is unlike anyone else on earth and I truly love her.

If you could raid anyone’s shoe closet, who would it be?

I guess I’d have to go with the editorial closet at Footwear Plus. I bet you guys see some amazing shoes.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Deadlines. I’m a procrastinator. I can’t work unless under extreme pressure. Kinda like a diamond (laughing).

Any hidden talents?

Well, I can do a mean Cher impression.

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