I wanted to start the day by sharing an interview I was lucky enough to gain from footwear designer & trend specialist, Louis-Martin Tremblay. Louis is responsible for the extremely popular and well read trend blog, www.komfortzone.ca.
Here what Louis had to say about how it all started after the jump…….
Q1: What first got you interested in footwear design.
I still have vivid memories of being 5 years old and going to buy shoes with my parents and it was such a thrill for me. Growing up, I went to an all boy school where we had to wear uniforms, so the shoes were the only way to have any kind of originality. Looking back, I think that played a big part in developing such an interest towards footwear.
It actually has always been sort of an obsession for me. By obsession, I mean I was buying 3 pairs of the same style in order to be able to wear them for years to come, or buying limited edition that I would keep in a box like I had just purchased gold for my future retirement.
Even when I was working as a men clothing designer and I was out on a shopping trip, I just had to set time aside to buy kicks or any original shoe I could bring back with me.
Strangely, I never really thought of working in the footwear business until somebody offered me a job 2 years ago. I don’t even think it ever crossed my mind. My boss was on holiday and the day she got back at the office, I had to tell her I was quitting to pursue a dream. That was basically the moment I had the opportunity to live my passion and I’m enjoying every minute of it!
Q2: A lot of your work is now focused on woman’s footwear design, Is this your preferred area to design for now?
I must say it was initially a love/hate relationship as I had been involved during in men’s fashion for 8 years before landing a job at Aldo, so I was basically vein pushed outside of my comfort zone.
But I soon realized that it was a great move as I have been learning so much and the team has made me feel right at home. I’m definitely being given all the information and tools needed to succeed and advance in my career. I must say women’s footwear is so creative and complex in a great way because there is so much more accessories available, fabrics and so on. Women are more aware of trends which also allows for more creativity.
I guess am presently in an in between phase right now; I do miss men’s design and I think I have an easier time understanding it, women’s design is still so new to me but a great challenge at the same time!
Q3: Tell us about the idea for your trend blog, www.komfortzone.ca
When you are passionate about something you want to share it with others. Also when I was searching the web for specific footwear inspiration, there was nothing that really spoke to my creativity. Even on these expensive trend sites, I was under the impression that the footwear section was just a sideline for them. So I decided to take it upon myself to share the results of my trend research to others. It’s not an easy task while work in the very busy fashion word with all the hours that you must invest. But I find it’s necessary for me to detach from myself from the daily responsibilities and express my own vision of what’s out there.
This project has also allowed me to connect with so many people , brands around the world too. The name of the blog, for those interested, is a representation of how we need to step out of the comfort zone we tend to fall into. Fashion, trends, life in general is always moving forward, and if we don’t change all the time the way we look at it or the way we approach it, we get left behind.
Q4: Its been a huge success from where i’m sitting from here in the UK with most of the UK designers I talk with using your site on a daily basis, how does that make you feel?.
To be honest, one of the first things that you want when entering a certain scene is to be understood and be able to network. I am flattered for sure to hear that people get a kick out this project of mine. And I hope that the future projects that will be incorporated into this blog will keep them coming back!
Q5: What are your ambitions for the next 5 years?
Wow…five years from now…things move so fast. I would seriously want to perfect my technical skills in the upcoming years and gain a better understanding of merchandising a collection. I think the creativity part is very important, but in the end that vision needs to meet a client’s needs.
I do want to experience something outside of Canada at some point, but right now I am living a great experience here, so we will have to see when I feel I am in settling to much in the comfort zone and will take the next step from there!
Q6: And finally what/who inspires you most?
I think we live in a great time – Internet brings you so much information, in such a rapid pace. But it’s a double-edged sword-what makes fashion is people’s interpretation of it, they’re way of expressing themselves in a creative way. You can spot it everywhere - coffee places, dance shows, shops… basically where people live their daily lives. So I think for me traveling is still a major source of inspiration. Music plays a big part as well. The biggest source of inspiration for me would have to be interior design. I think the space we live in plays such a big part in the way we dress, and vice versa.
I would also add that I am really glad to see that many companies are trying to have a more local and ecological mindset. I think there is nothing wrong in mass production and mass creation as we are all allowed to express ourselves and purchase designs. But we should keep it mind that we borrow the land from our children and not the other way around. So please keep being amazing designers but try to do it in a way that the next generation can continue doing it as well!