We recently attended the five year anniversary of shoe brand 80%20 and met its charming founder, Ce Ce Chin, who answered our questions about the coveted collection and the future of the brand. Enjoy, and we’re sure you’ll fall in love with Ce Ce Chin and 80%20 — just like we did!
Fashion Pulse Daily: There’s a lot of mesh found in the current 80%20 footwear collection; what inspired this look?
Ce Ce Chin: Mesh swimwear-bathing suits and cover ups- from the 1980s. I chose a mesh that has a sporty feeling.
FPD: I think my favorite from the collection is the Molly Shoe (pictured above); can you tell me a bit about the genesis of this style, and how you plan to evolve it, season to season?
CCC: We had such success with the hidden wedge as a boot, and the challenge was to design a version for the summer. The Molly totally works because it has the the contrast of the paper bag effect around the ankle and the open toe. I’m visualizing the next generation on a platform and with woven straps.
FPD: 80%20 vs Ce Ce Chin Collection- can the same girl wear both?
CCC: Yes, 80%20 is what we’re wearing all day long, while we run about, do what we need to do and look effortlessly chic while doing do. Ce Ce Chin is a collection of evening shoes with a lot of downtown romance- think of Rapunzel of the Lower East Side.
FPD: The concept behind 80%20 came from your observation that we tend to wear our favorite 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time’ — what is currently your favorite 20% that you’ve been wearing non-stop?
CCC: The Molly Olive- our runaway best seller this season. I can wear these with baggy pants or skinny jeans or short shorts. These shoes are casual and sophisticated at the same time.
CCC: Preppy chic- loafers, clogs, Weejuns, kilted details.
FPD: Would you consider doing a line for a big retailer, like Target or H&M?
CCC: I would love to do this!
FPD: Besides footwear, what other type of design might you be interested to try?
CCC: I’d love to design interiors. I’m always working on my apartment.
FPD: Tell me a bit about the blog; I love that you have a variety of posts and tell it like it is (The Carrie Diaries Post) — what made you want to have a blog as part of the site?
CCC: I see the blog as the beginning on an ongoing dialogue with our customer. It’s really about building community. I’m sharing details about the 80%20 lifestyle- what’s inspiring, what’s annoying, what’s clever, what’s funny and so forth. By doing this, I’m inviting our customers to interact and share their thoughts with us.