Gina Ferraraccio, founder of Cri de Coeur, is one of the coolest chicks around, not only because she’s a kick-ass shoe designer who has been featured in Lucky, Elle, Marie Claire, Daily Candy and InStyle (just to name a few), but because her entire line of gorgeous, cutting-edge shoes and boots is 100% vegan. How, you ask, can this be possible? Read on to find out…
L&W- How did you come up with the concept for Cri de Coeur?
GF- I’ve been a vegetarian since I was around 15. I was always super into fashion at the same time, and it was hard when I would go shopping and I would see all these leather shoes that were so amazing and I would want to buy them but would feel conflicted. And there weren’t really any good alternative options out there that were fashionable and cute. So it had been a goal of mine for a while to start a vegan line of fashionable shoes.
L&W- What makes them vegan?
GF- “Vegan” means that there are no animal products whatsoever- so no leathers or glues that have animal products, the outsoles are not leather, and they’re made mostly with a faux leather that is polyurethane, which is environmentally friendly. It’s better for the environment than PVC or vinyl. I also use some ultra suede that’s made from recycled plastic and different textiles, like some cotton and hemp canvas for the uppers. The soles are made of a thermo-plastic rubber. They’re made mostly by hand in Portugal, but I am doing some domestic productions for this coming season, which is in Los Angeles.
L&W- That’s great!
GF- Yeah, it’s great to have some of them made domestically, for offestting the carbon when I ship and that sort of thing.
L&W- What boutiques are you selling in now?
GF- Some in New York and Los Angeles, a couple in England and a couple down south. I also have a store on shopflick.com and endless.com.
L&W- I love the shopflick.com store because of the video of you talking about the line.
GF- Yes, me too. It’s a good way to personalize each line they feature.
L&W- What else should people know about the Cri de Coeur line?
GF- Even a lot of people might not be vegan, the shoes are for everybody. They’re not limited to a certain group. The style and fashion-forwardness have always been my main focus when designing. Also, people can sign up for our newsletter through the website, http://www.cri-de-coeur.com, to get info on the latest designs.
L&W- I LOVE my new Ariel boots!! They’re amazing!!
GF- I’m so glad you like them!
L&W- So since you’ve gone to Parsons and are an amazing designer, will you send in a T-shirt design that I can feature on the blog as well?
GF- I would love to.
(see Gina’s T-shirt design below! http://www.loveandwaterinternational.com/2009/11/design-9-gina-ferraraccio-of-cri-de.html)
Visit Cri de Coeur and sign up for the newsletter here: www.cri-de-coeur.com
Shop online for Cri de Coeur here: www.shopflick.com
Join the Cri de Coeur Facebook Fan Page here: http://www.facebook.com/#/pages/Cri-de-Coeur/55144755895?ref=search&sid=714264300.3093268521..1
Love and Water loves cool people who have cool blogs! So we decided to interview some of them who also like our blog and want to become part of our community. First up is Elizabeth Ammerman, fashion design student (who brings edgy, unique, simply amazing work to the world of fashion) and author of The Trashicist.
Love and Water- So your blog is called The Trashicist, but the URL is Obsessive Wardrobe Change Disorder.
Elizabeth- That was originally the name of the blog- I was looking up “faux diseases” online and that was one of them. It’s what a doctor came up with for women who can’t decide on an outfit, which I think every woman has. But I changed it to Trashicist because people always say I have really trashy style. I kind of like that word and so I embrace it.
L&W- I like that word too. And you’re in school?
Elizabeth- At Pratt. I’m studying fashion design. It’s really hard- it’s 18 credits a semester, so I’m in class all the time and one of my classes is six hours, so it’s a lot of time.
L&W- And you work?
Elizabeth- I work at Seven New York in SOHO on Saturday and Sunday. So my only social hours are early in the mornings.
L&W-How did you decide to become a designer?
Elizabeth- When I was a kid I was a huge fan of the Spice Girls and would make things that I wanted them to wear. I’ve always been into painting and drawing. I used to wear crazy things in my hometown, but nobody experiments there, so I would get all sorts of looks.
L&W- Where are you from?
Elizabeth- Amarillo, Texas. It’s really conservative.
L&W- What a welcomed change New York must be!
Elizabeth- It’s really great when people embrace your style, as opposed to actually pointing and laughing at me on the street.
L&W- Do you want to have your own clothing line?
Elizabeth- Eventually. There are so many things that I like- I’d like to style and do costumes. Conceptual art pieces that won’t necessarily be worn. I’m interning for Christian Joy, the costume designer for Karen Oh.
L&W- Have you met Karen?
L&W- Cool! I hope you submit some of your designs to Love and Water when the website launches.
Elizabeth- Yeah, I think it’s a great concept to raise money for charities and to get designers’ designs out there. I think it’s beneficial for everybody. I’ll definitely submit.
L&W- Where does your slashing come from in your clothing design?
Elizabeth- I don’t like things that are finished, and I like the idea of chaos. Sometimes I have so many ideas and I don’t know where to start. It was sort of my look this summer; I didn’t have a lot of money so I came up with this concept of negative space. So positive and negative space is where that idea came from.
L&W- When do you post on your blog?
Elizabeth- I usually wait until I have something I really want to put out there. I’m kind of turned off by the whole “fashion blog” scene in terms of just reposting information anyone can get elsewhere. So that’s why I wait until I have something I want to share or that is a source of inspiration for me.
L&W- Oh yeah- I wanted to ask you about your Kirkwoods!
Elizabeth- I just got them, they’re from Seven, and I love them. But no one has bought a pair yet.
L&W- Maybe you will inspire people to buy them.
Visit Elizabeth’s blog at http://obsessivewardrobechangedisorder.blogspot.com/