Singer/songwriter Shontelle is branching out! The talented songstress is showcasing her design skills with her new CAT x SHONTELLE footwear collection, which debuted during New York Fashion Week. Joonbug had the opportunity to chat with the gal of many trades about the inspiration behind the collection, her plans for the future, and more.
What made you want to get into fashion? And more specifically, footwear?
I guess the default answer is because CAT Footwear makes just that. SHOES! And beautiful BOOTS! I actually wore CATs throughout most of my school life. Not only because they were perfect with my school uniforms but they lasted forever (I only replaced them when I outgrew a size) and they were waterproof. So of course my parents loved that! In Barbados, if the bottom of your school shoes didn’t flash yellow, you weren’t cool. So thanks to CAT I’ve always been a “cool kid." Always been an Earth Mover! My grandmother was also obsessed with shoes and apparently, according to my family, she passed that on to me. They feel as though this line is Ms. Delia, living through me...
How did you come up with the name for your collection?
The collection itself doesn't yet have a name because the project just started out as a one time collaboration. So for now it's called the CAT x SHONTELLE collection. Or simply CATs by Shontelle. But it felt so fun and so right that CAT Footwear decided to continue the collection for another season. Hopefully we can keep this going for a long time and eventually develop a full SHONTELLE line with its own established department and name. However, the names of the boots were all inspired by and derived from places in Barbados that were special or significant to my childhood. "Bridegtown" - The capital city of Barbados and also where I was born and first lived; "Bajan" - self explanitory; "Xtreme" - The name of my favorite night club where I most frequented. Unfortunately its now closed; "Sandy Lane" - My favorite Beach/Club Resort in Barbados.
What type of woman do you envision wearing your footwear?
All girls will want to wear my boots but they will be especially appreciated by girls and women on the go. Girls who lead busy lives and move around alot but want to feel beautiful and confident. The shoes on your feet affect your gate and the way you stand. Your posture is a reflection of your confidence. CATs by SHONTELLE were designed with all of this in mind. They are definitely designed to cater to a more fashionable girl but I didn’t overdo it so as to exclude the more conservative girl. But conservative doesn’t mean not fashionable or lacking confidence. Fashion comes in many forms. It’s the way we express ourselves. In essence, confident girls and girls who want to feel confident will wear CAT boots.
Do you have plans to expand your collection or expand to other types of fashion?
We have already designed and begun to produce samples for a second line for Spring/Summer 2013. I’m so excited because I thought it would just be a one off thing but when CAT asked me to stay I said hell yea! I enjoy this so much. It’s another outlet for my creativity and artistry and sometimes I can feel my grandma smiling at me from above.
What makes your collection stand out from others?
You’ve never seen a Bajan design boots before, right? So that first of all is unique. Boots by a Bajan! I wanted to see my collaboration with CAT in a more fashionable dierection. We’re talking higher heels and brighter colors, buckles and charms. Everything girly and feminine and everything cool. If I don’t feel comfortable, I don’t feel fabulous. So the CAT team and I got to work, to design a sexy, stylish, line of boots that would appeal to the toughest chicks anywhere in the world as well as the most glamorous ladies without compromising the classic characteristics of the CAT boots; comfort and durability. And the SHONTELLE x CAT line was born.
What are your plans for the future?
Eventually I would like to have my own fashion brand and do my own line of shoes and boots and perhaps a swimwear line and maybe eventually clothing. I also intend to expand from just songwriting
into full out producing and build my own studio. I already have my own publishing company and record label and when the time is right I will start signing my own artists, writers and producers. I’ve been very
interested in real estate lately and art as well so who knows where that will take me. I got a scholarship to AMDA and I would like to one really get back to acting in a serious way. But again, timing is everything.