Wil­son’s new shoes take off


A pas­sion for Kung Fu shoes in Pa­pakura in the 1980s has led fash­ion shoe-de­signer Kathryn Wil­son to in­ter­na­tional suc­cess and a reg­u­lar spot in Queen­stown’s fash­ion scene.

For the sixth year Walker re­leased her new spring/sum­mer col­lec­tion as part of the Clic­quot in the Snow event in the re­sort.

This year’s event was the largest yet with over 200 at­ten­dees, mainly women, at the Milford Sound Flights han­gar for the glam­orous 1960s PanAm Air­ways in­spired cat­walk and cham­pagne.

The set­ting was colder than many of the pun­ters ex­pected but the shades of pas­tel pink and li­lac leather, com­pli­mented with touches of Clic­quot yel­low and flo­ral em­broi­dery de­tail­ing were well re­ceived.

Speak­ing be­fore the event Wil­son said she grew up with two older sis­ters and a mum who was a ‘‘true op­ti­mist’’.

Her mother would buy her daugh­ters Kung Fu shoes and Com­mando Ms from Para Rub­ber and they would use Fluffit pens, Puff Paint and glit­ter pens to dec­o­rate them.

‘‘I would take it a step fur­ther and cut the sides out and cut the toes out,’’ said Wil­son. ‘‘I would be stoked and think no one has a pair like mine.’’

She worked in shoe stores af­ter school, stud­ied a Bach­e­lor of De­sign and won a schol­ar­ship to study shoes in Eng­land.

‘‘I was good at art and maths and not much else and en­cour­aged to pur­sue some­thing I liked.’’

She has gone on to be­come New Zealand’s lead­ing shoe de­signer, even hav­ing her shoes bought by Beyonce.

She de­scribes her shoes as prac­ti­cal but fash­ion­able.

‘‘I guess they have a pur­pose but at the end of the day fash­ion foot wear is a want not a need.’’

The full Clic­quot in the Snow pro­gramme in­cluded the high­est cro­quet in the South­ern Hemi­sphere with Clic­quot Cro­quet, a four-course de­gus­ta­tion lunch de­signed by Josh Emett at Rata, daily apre`s-ski at the Snow Bar on Coronet Peak and a lav­ish Clic­quot Rose´ in­spired clos­ing party fea­tur­ing Boh Runga and Ja­son Ker­ri­son to con­clude the fes­tiv­i­ties.


Shoe de­signer Kathryn Wil­son with Sa­man­tha Hayes and models in Queen­stown.

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