bal harbour blog

Kotur, Part Two

Q&A
Fiona Kotur Marin.

By Tali Jaffe

Fiona Kotur Marin may be Hong Kong-based, but she’s a New Yorker through and through and seized the opportunity to present her first shoe collection at the height of New Yorkness—Fashion Week. Building upon her Kotur line of accessories she established in 2005, the new shoe collection features exotic skins and leather pieces, from sandal to stiletto. We caught up with the designer to see what inspired her debut shoe collection, her love of travel and what the new Hong Kong hotspots are.

What made now the right time to launch a shoe collection?
I have always loved all accessories, and have dreamed of having a shoe line. We received some great encouragement from stores, and at the same time found a fantastic Italian workroom who agreed to partner with us. All of the pieces fell into place. We follow the same principle with shoes as bags--to celebrate creativity and self-expression, and to have fun. Our bags love to go out and be seen, and now our shoes will join them!

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How closely related are the shoes and accessories?
Both follow classic lines, but embrace creativity, adventure and surprise.... They are items to hold on to for years, and they are meant to complement a woman's personal style, not compete with it. This season, we were inspired by the Gypset, glamorous, exotic travel, and although the bags and shoes are not meant to match exactly, they do embrace the same spirit, and often share materials like Ayers snakeskin, embroideries and tassels.

What types of skins are you working with?
We mainly use snakeskin, but we love to combine materials and textures. Ayers snakeskin combined with suede, satin, straw and ethnic embellishments, all in unexpected combinations.

What inspired the first collection?
We joined the Gypset, tapping into the idea of the stylish traveler who seeks out immersive, evocative experiences the world over. We wanted to explore their sense of exotic travel, their spirit of adventure and their wanderlust. It’s as much about travel as it is about the ideas that travel inspires, the collection is for us rich with colors, smells and texture, and the craft of far away places and far away times.

Do you have a favorite style?
They are each my favorites at difference times, and with different moods.

Has life in Hong Kong influenced your designs?
Life in Hong Kong has enabled me to travel more, and to explore. I am still a city girl, born and raised in New York, and Hong Kong offers many of the same things I love about living in a large, international city. But, it also has allowed me to completely abandon all traces of urbanity to travel in proximity, and seek out inspiration and materials from remote areas, rich with their own creativity and workmanship.

Hong Kong's art and culture scene has grown so much in the time you've been living there. What are some of your favorite new spots?
I love Duddel's a private club/restaurant founded by Alan Lo and Yenn Wong. It is beautifully designed, with art-curated rooms, and cultural conversation and intellectual debate. Intelligence Squared, a series of lively debates, is always an evening I look forward to; I always leave feeling a smarter and entertained. Finally, I find the newly renovated Asia Society to be a peaceful haven for Asian art exhibitions and lectures, in a historical and architecturally interesting environment.

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