“Sometimes”........ March 18th 2014
About a year ago I was approached by the Los Angeles based lifestyle company tokidoki to form a collaborative partnership to design and manufacture a range of shoes to be sold under our American label London Sole.
I was honoured and very excited by this project as I have known about this amazing brand for several years and watched in awe at their incredible global success with fashion collaborations with such luminaries as Karl Lagerfeld, Barbie and Hello Kitty who sell out completely of their tokidoki themed designs. NetaPorter sold out of the tokidoki scarves by Karl Lagerfeld within two days, so I knew this was going to be a serious design challenge for me.
Founded in 2005 by the wonderful Italian designer and visionary artist Simone Legno and his two Los Angeles based business partners, there is now a worldwide cult following for the super cute and colourful characters of tokidoki which means “Sometimes” in Japanese. It is Simone Legno’s philosophy of chance meetings, hidden energy in discovering new people, destiny and the everyday dream that something magical will happen to us and it is this thinking that is conveyed through all his amazing characters and their adventures in life.It is impossible not to instantly adore the world of imagination that opens up before you when looking at these images and with this in mind I set about designing a capsule range of about ten styles that I felt caught the spirit of Simone’s little people and their amazing adventures.
The main inspiration for the collection came from the basic theme of the tokidoki symbol, a heart with two bones and the colours inspired by Donutella, Sandy the Cactus Girl and Evil Kitty (my personal favourites!) The collection tries to appeal to girls of all ages and so we start with the Moochers and move through to traditional ballet flats onto the special edition tokidoki Heart Vamp shoe with an arrow piercing it. I have embellished shoes with characters and with the signature details of the characters and picked up the colours of the sprinkles on Donutella’s hair. It has been time consuming and tricky, but the rewards came at the Las Vegas shoe show where we showed them for the first time. The collection was met with delight by everyone including buyers from all over the world, all wanting to order the shoes immediately. Most importantly for me was the fact that Simone Legno himself adored the collection. Together with Maggie Katreva, my Press and Wholesale Manager in Los Angeles who has been the brilliant “operations director” of the whole process and given approval for the entire collection to move forward into full production and distribution. So “Sometimes” wonderful things happen just by chance and for me, designing for tokidoki has been truly wonderful.