Jerome C. Rousseau honed his design skills for ten years, working alongside Matthew Williamson and John Rocha before he launched his own footwear label in 2008. The future looks bright for this shoe designer, what with Charlize Theron as a fan, and fashion desks the world over watching his next move. We talk to the man behind the Miss Piggy stiletto...
What are your failsafe styling tips??€?
Make sure you are able to walk in the shoes you choose. A gorgeous pair of heels does not look good if you can't carry them with style and confidence.
Which celebrity would you most like to see wearing your shoes?
I'm fortunate because some of my favourite celebs have already worn the label. Some that I am most proud of are Charlize Theron, January Jones and Roxane Mesquida. I would love to see my designs on my lifelong heroine Cyndi Lauper.
Describe the process from thought to final production...?€?
Inspiration can come from anywhere! Once the collection is sketched, there are numerous trips to Italy to develop and fit the first prototypes, the subsequent prototypes, and the final samples. This process includes developing the heel moulds and sourcing materials in the right colours that represent the themes of every collection. It takes roughly four months for the shoes to hit the stores after we have taken orders and submitted them to our factories.
Do you have any career advice on how to make it in fashion?
It's really hard work and you need to work harder than the next person. It's important to find an identity and create collections that are surprising but are at the same time in line with the niche you are creating for your label.
How would you describe your design signature??€?
I always strive to create designs that are both elegant and distinctive. The label has become known for interesting plays of colour and texture and the use of unexpected materials.
Which collection are you most proud of?
My favourite design is the style 'Kier' (from the Autumn/Winter 2012 collection), a statement sandal with a double swirl over the foot that creates volume and movement.
What makes a good shoe great?
A beautifully studied silhouette, paired with the best quality components. It's about refined craftsmanship and attention to detail but the subtle touches really make a difference when looking at a small object like a shoe.
What do you think sets London girls apart from the rest of the world, style-wise??€?
In London, the majority strives to be different. This creates an eclectic explosion of style in one city, which is very inspiring to see as a designer.
Which other shoe designers do you admire??€?
From decades past, my favourite designer is Andre Perugia. In more recent times, I'm a big fan of the works of Jonathan Kelsey and Bruno Frisoni.
Any fashion trends that you hate?
Yes, there are tons but I won't tell you which.
What's the best piece of fashion advice your mum ever gave you?
I don't know if my mum ever gave me any particular advice on fashion but she certainly put me in eccentric outfits when I was a kid. Maybe her message was to be daring and bold.