At our core, we believe a pop of color can brighten any day. After all, we’re the ones who introduced rainbow suede loafers and a new means of self-expression to feet around the world in 1958. Our latest collection of colorful, WorryFree™ suede shoes feature our classic Wren Loafer. We’ve curated 16 limited edition colors so you can pop your personal style.
This Winter, we’re embracing bold color by learning from the experts—a handful of artists and designers with an eye we admire.
Meet Katie Kortman. She is a painter and textile artist based in Japan. She styled the Soft Red Wren Loafer and is teaching us about complimentary color schemes through her art and style.
How did you get into textile design?
I studied art in college and one of my painting professors (who also knew my love for fashion) mentioned how well my artwork would translate to fabric design. I almost went for a masters degree in it, but life took a few turns and that didn’t pan out. Years later, as a mom of four kids, sewing my handmade wardrobe and posting on Instagram, I heard of a contest to “sew frosting.” The intention was to make something you didn’t NEED and caused you to stretch yourself. I had made a goal that year to finally learn how to design fabric (and it was already November), so, for that contest I hand-painted the entire dress. I was one of the winners (3 categories) of that contest, which got me a lot of attention, including that from some fabric companies. I knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunities being put in my lap, and so I intensively took classes to learn how to make seamless repeats for the next month. It has been 2 years since that happened and I still look back and can’t believe where I am today!
“Color is the main thing that draws me into any work of art or design…”
Describe your artistic aesthetic.
I love color. Color is the main thing that draws me into any work of art or design, and then comes the use of shape and space. My own work is very abstract and non-representational, so I am also drawn to that kind of work from others. I love bold art, but also subtle, I love minimalist, but also maximalist! I just really love COLOR.
You use all sorts of color combinations in your art and style. How do you choose what colors to use?
I love to play around with color combinations! If I’m sewing a garment I will lay out all the color options for a particular fabric, until I find the combo that is the most interesting. If I am designing fabric, then I play around with combos just using the color wheel, or looking at boards where I’ve pinned color combos I liked.
“I love to dance even alone with no music and wearing happy, bright colors often puts me in the mood!”
For someone who is new to wearing color, do you have any tips or tricks on how to add color and brighten up an outfit?
I have a whole pdf guidebook for learning how to use color in your wardrobe! In the guide I talk about starting with accessories. Shoes, purses, scarves, earrings, headwear, ties, are all good places to add a pop of color. Who doesn’t love an unexpected colorful shoe with an otherwise neutral outfit? You look down at your feet all day and feel happy! It is an easy way to start experimenting with what colors you like. Then gradually adding some of those into your clothing as well. Maybe a shirt or cardigan, or something you can easily pair with everything else in your wardrobe.
What’s your favorite color?
As if I could pick just one!!!! I really love bright yellow, hot pink, orchid, grass green, peach… ummmm I cannot pick just one!
What’s your favorite place to get inspired by color?
Everywhere. I follow wonderful colorful people on Instagram that inspire me, I find it in artwork, and everywhere in the world around me.