Interview with shoe designer Joanne Stoker
Architectural structure and signature bold colour.
Delivering daring and unconventional pieces season after season, the unrivalled vision associated with Joanne Stokers heel construction and bold colour combinations has become synonymous with the designer and her talent for seeking out unforeseen trends. Never fearing innovation; steel, perspex, crystals and even LED’s are all part of her repertoire, presenting designs which are both unforgettable and unmistakably her own. Taking inspiration from architecture the world over, she incorporates principals of space and structure to influence her own designs. The result – an intelligent, strong silhouette that does not compromise style or femininity.
A former Cordwainers graduate, Joanne’s unique talent has caught the attention of many designers. She has collaborated with Matthew Williamson on the launch of his first collection, designed footwear for Eudon Choi’s LFW runway show and has had further collaboration with The Dune Group. Recognised by Jimmy Choo on completing her Masters, she went on to do a mentorship with the iconic designer before establishing her own luxury label. Joanne has won many awards including First into Fashion, The British Footwear Association Design Award and The Vogue Talents Award in Milan to name but a few.
Joanne Stoker has fast carved her name on the fashion world, standing out by crafting signature pieces with daring and unconventional colours and materials. The artistry associated with her heel construction and bold colour combinations has become particularly synonymous with the designer’s unrivalled vision.
It is easy to see that the former Cordwainers graduate takes her inspiration from architecture around the globe. By using structures on the grandest scale and incorporating their principals to influence her own designs, she creates an intelligent and strong silhouette without compromising style or femininity.
Joanne‘s designs will be on display from the 11th until the 29th September at Westfield Shopping Centre London as part of a pop up exhibition from Northampton Museum and Art Gallery’s shoe collection. Joanne has chosen a vintage shoe from the Northampton Museums and Art Gallery archive which is displayed alongside a shoe from her current collection.
The interview below with Joanne was conducted by Ellen Sampson, Cinderella project Curator. For more information on the ground breaking Cinderella project go to http://www.northampton.gov.uk/thecinderellasyndrome
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Where do you design and what is your workspace like?
From my warehouse studio in Haggerston, N1. It’s really very organised. I don’t like working in a messy environment
How does your design process work?
I tend to start off with a few themes and create mood boards and then start sketching. My biggest inspiration comes from materials though I love trailing through Linea Pelle fair for new fabrications, textures and materials.
What inspires you when you design?
Mostly art, culture and travel as a starting point, I love architecture and the fabrications of materials used in architecture especially places like morocco and India, secondly its finding the materials and creating the prototypes that is where your vision starts to become real. Trying on a final sample always feels amazing.
How do historic/vintage shoes inspire your designs?
I don’t tend to look at historic shoes to often as I try to keep a modern fresh approach to my designs; however platforms from the 60s/ 70s always catch my eye. I just love the boldness of them and the mix of bright colours, with the chunky soles. I am a great fan of disco music too so I can just see people dancing along in those amazing platform shoes.
Describe the historic/vintage shoe you picked. Why did you pick it?
The style I chose is a platform open toe sandal and has a great mix of colours; it combines an unusual shape heel with print and graphic pattern cutting. I really adore the colours and the unusual shape of the heel and sole, it definitely could be revamped and be worn as a modern shoe of today. The graphic pattern of the front of the upper combined with the wavy printed sole just looks so cool. I love a 70s disco style shoe!