BFA member Katie Cary is still in celebration mode this week, having just been announced as the Footwear Designer of the year for 2019 at the revered Draper’s Awards. We managed to find a few minutes in her increasingly busy diary to uncover more details about her stunning range of shoes, her hopes for her business and what the recognition of a big industry award means to her.
Rogue Matilda is the brainchild of shoe designer Katie Cary, born after years of frustration at being unable to find the perfect flat shoe: pumps felt unsupportive, trainers felt unprofessional and traditional brogues didn’t feel flattering. Katie explains: “Rogues provide a fashionable, well-made, alternative to all these problems but with added sass!
“The driving force behind the brand was an aim to create playful flats that are not only comfortable but also become the focal point of an outfit.”
And it would seem her shoe problems were echoed by her stylish customers who’ve helped push the brand to the forefront and clamour each season for the unique designs.
Cool, comfortable brogues are the stalwart of the Rogue Matilda ethos, but Katie is determined to build on her success and push the range forward.
“From a design perspective 70% of the collection will always be brogues as these are our bread and butter,” she explained. “However we will also further develop some of our additional style options such as the sneaker, the Mary-Jane and the boot. September will also see the introduction of belts and bags to our product range.”
But extending the Rogue range doesn’t mean there will be any reduction in the brand’s attention to detail in producing high quality yet quirky designs. “The belts and bags will maintain the design handwriting from the brogues,” Katie assures.
“We’ll use eclectic materials such as pony-skin and python effect leather, but also include the signature colour pop that has become synonymous with Rogue Matilda collection.”
The Draper’s Award win will no doubt push the brand even further into the public eye and Katie is delighted that the sweat and tears she’s poured into Rogue Matilda has been recognised by her peers and a judging panel made up of some the footwear industry’s big names.
“Winning Footwear Designer of the Year was a huge achievement and more importantly it shows recognition of what I’m trying to achieve with the brand from some of the people I admire most in the industry,” she said.
“We have always tried to do things a little differently at Rogue Matilda and it was incredible to hear that the judges admired how the designs were so unique and did something new with a classic. The award has given me confidence in my way of working, and hopefully we can continue to grow our loyal group of customers and increase our footprint in the UK. “
Riding on Rogue’s present success, growth in their customer base seems a given, especially when combined with Katie’s relentless enthusiasm and love for the product she’s making. Plans are already underway to open a pop up shop at the end of the year to cover trading in the run up to Christmas, which Katie feels gives “a nice opportunity for our online customers to try before they buy.”
Celebrating her success seems more than deserved right now and Katie has every right to feel proud of her shoes, her business and now, her national award – we’re delighted to have her under our BFA umbrella and we’re pretty certain that before very long, everyone will be going a bit Rogue!