Tenemos Pantalones! (and shoe and wow) 2013 (via kickstarter)

Hi beautiful one,

3 hours to go. 3 hours to go and we have met our goal. Wow. Just wow. Thank you so so much everyone for supporting and sharing my dream. I can’t wait to start getting your incentives and the fall collection made. This is ridiculous. This is incredible.

Sharing the last few months of dreams and crazy before right now just happened below.

Hope you enjoy. As much as I enjoy you!!

x Leila

January 2013 – I celebrate New Year’s by hopping on a plane back to Italy! Spend one week visiting the factories and working on last minute shoe details. Hop on another plane to go to Paris and show the collection at the Who’s Next tradeshow. The flight is scheduled to leave around noon so we have time to get to Paris and set up the booth. A military plane is stuck on the runway in Pisa all day. We do not leave until midnight and arrive at our hotel in Paris around 3am. We have to set up the booth while the show begins the next day. Some of my designs were selected for a special trend showcase in the tradeshow (awesome) and I miss the opportunity because we arrived a day late (crap.) The booth is much smaller than I anticipated (much smaller = size of a bathroom stall.) Grateful I didn’t buy the huge glass wall I wanted for an interactive art piece at the show, it would have been four times the length of the booth. More or less, the other shoe companies at Who’s Next seem to sell inexpensive and simple shoes. The all vegan and high end Krže Collection doesn’t get the standing ovation I was fantasizing. I feel like a black sheep. I decide to make the most of it and we cover the booth walls in quotes and art, and share the inspiration for peace, love, and transformation, with all. Why not.

February 2013 – Fly back to Italy from Paris. Check in with the factories and share my expensive learning experience and frustrations from Paris with them. They are supportive and give encouragement to go on. I fly to New York to show our shoes at the FFANY tradeshow. I feel like crap, despairing that maybe everyone actually hates what I am doing and that I really am a crazy girl. My mom and Val fly in from Los Angeles to help. The experience at FFANY compared to Paris is like night and day. Editors and buyers alike really dig Krže Studio! I discover though that much of the footwear at FFANY is made in gigantic mass-market factories and sold at very low prices. My small startup company with Italian made high-end vegan shoes cannot compete for price. Does not matter to me. What’s amazing is that people embrace the collection, both the Los Angeles concept for the designs and the philosophy for using the best vegan materials. I go home to L.A. for a week before going to Las Vegas for the FN Platform tradeshow. Vegas is like New York in that the collection is well received, and the majority of buyers that come to the tradeshow seem to look for lower priced shoes made in mass-market factories. I meet the founding designers of Beyond Skin, a UK vegan footwear brand. Geek out about what big inspirations they were to me when I was in design school. Being in Vegas has me dreaming how to get in touch with Steve Wynn and show him the men’s shoes as he is vegan. Val tweets him, but he didn’t tweet back…yet?:) I start talking with my friends about organizing this Kickstarter campaign.

March 2013 – Compassion Couture reaches out to us and starts carrying the handbags I designed for WishYouWereVegan!! Feels amazing to be featured on their site. My rad friends help me organize and shoot the video for this crowd fund. I submit everything to Kickstarter for review and impatiently await their response so we can launch. Kickstarter approves! We launch the day before I attend the Humane Society’s Genesis Awards and have two of the Krže Studio shoes featured in their silent auction. I pack my bags again and hop onto another flight back to Italy to research materials for the Spring 2014 collection and design the actual collection in Italy. Originally I planned to have it designed already. However, in the midst of the excitement of planning Kickstarter, my design process would be rushed and stressful. Designing under stress is never great. A relaxed mind is a creative mind.

The amazing thing is now, thanks to Kickstarter and all of your awesome support, right now, I get to relax and begin designs for Spring 2014 tomorrow. Thank you so much.

Pictured below: 1 – checking in with factories before trade shows // 2 – showing the collection no matter what at Who’s Next, Paris // 3 – sharing the dream and the collection in New York and Las Vegas // 4 – 🙂 thanks for making this campaign a success. feeling stoked.

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