Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Molly ("Molly") for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.
Molly : I began designing shoes after my walk through the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto. I felt inspired to explore my love for footwear in a refreshing way that day, however, it wasn’t until a year later that I took the initiative to attend a shoemaking intensive where I learned a large sum of what entails my shoemaking process. Nevertheless, I do a lot of research on my own to learn new techniques and find ways to progress more efficiently.
Molly : I have always designed clothes as a hobby for as long as I can remember, but I had a terrible experience with the pair of shoes that I wore to the Bata Shoe Museum, which ultimately struck my curiosity. I wanted to know the kind of materials used to create the poorly designed pair and that was the driving force behind learning about product development and how shoes are made. In response to my design incentive, I would say my vision is what keeps me going.
Molly : Not to sound cliché, but I’ve always felt like I was born to design. Growing up I remember being obsessed with footwear and how beautifully they complemented outfits, so to be gifted enough to design some gorgeous pairs is really a wonderful experience.
Molly : I design beautiful footwear according to what I am feeling or experiencing at the moment, but in the future, I would love to dabble in 3D printing from time to time.
Molly : I consider myself a young designer but I would definitely say believe in yourselves entirely and chase your dreams passionately.
Molly : A good designer is consistently expressive of their concepts in a way that enlightens and intrigues the consumer’s mind, while I believe what sets a great designer apart is the ability to influence design culture, new trends, and consumer needs.
Molly : In terms of footwear, if it is aesthetically pleasing, comfortable, and functional.
Molly : For starters, good design will always stand out in a crowd of parallel concepts, however, 99.9% are usually created with elevated craftsmanship and the utmost attention to detail in order to ensure value and longevity.
Molly : Robyn Rihanna Fenty. I would design a killer collection inspired by the woman that she is.
Molly : I’m not sure if this is solely a matter of time, but I have dreams of building my own manufacturing company that employs and educates shoemakers with little to no opportunity of expanding their craft to its full potential- mainly with shoemakers back home in Nigeria and Ghana. I also have dreams of providing these craftsmen with a life that values their skills and hard work.
Molly : Resilience and Perseverance. To never give up on a concept no matter how unattainable it may seem.
Molly : Manolo Blahnik, simply because it was his documentary “The Boy Who Made Shoes For Lizards” and a short interview of his titled "Manolo Blahnik: Tattoos, Milk Shakes, and Americana" that inspired me to pick up a pencil and put my design skills to the test.
Molly : It might just be the kind of person that I am, but most of the footwear I own holds some sentimental value. I do not have particularly favorite designs of mine, but I can say that the Alexander McQueen Armadillo and Jeffery Campbell Nightwalk heels intrigued my younger teenage mind to consider design silhouettes in ways other than they were conventionally created.
Molly : The Gemini Rebirth because it sparked a few new directions for my design projects and that to me beats solely creating beautiful footwear
Molly : I try to study the industry and its pioneering designers. I ask myself “What did they implement that was different from pre-existing designs?” and “What was their approach?” I watched a lot of designer documentaries over the years and continue to consistently educate myself in my art. I would advise anyone looking to improve themselves to fully immerse themselves in their craft, no matter what aspect it might be.
Molly : A footwear buyer, a footwear sales associate, a footwear blogger; I believe I would have found something relating to footwear to do for the rest of my life.
Molly : Design to me is similar to art and that is a way for me to explore my thoughts and create new realities. It is a way to indulge in myself while contributing splendor to the rest of the world.
Molly : My family and friends, but most importantly my parents.
Molly : My ability to push through obstacles and think in unconventional ways.
Molly : I would say resource and time management along with dealing with creative blocks or loss of motivation.
Molly : In the best manner possible. As well thought out as your design may be, its presentation really does the heavy lifting of communicating the designer’s intent to potential consumers.
Molly : You can expect more intriguing collections as I continue to develop my skill.
Molly : To create footwear that adds value and sentiment to my client’s life.
Molly : People expect perfection and completion- to have it all figured out and make no errors while executing my plans, but the truth is I am still learning and embracing life’s challenges.
Molly : I think design influences tradition in societal groups, therefore one must be considerate of its ripple effect as it is disseminated through culture.
Molly : I am currently completing The Gemini Rebirth collection with different styles of interchangeable footwear and a wider variety of colors.
Molly : All my design projects appeal to my satisfaction in one way or the other because crafting footwear is something that I do for joy and peace of mind.
Molly : More opportunities for fresh and promising minds to be able to learn and develop their passion.
Molly : A minimum of 4 days and a maximum of 2 weeks, provided I have all of the resources I need.
Molly : Sometimes, I begin by translating my ideas to tangible concepts on paper, researching materials, techniques, and other times, I might dive right into a project without as much as a sketch if I know exactly what I want to achieve.
Molly : I always tell myself that I am here to “create and not replicate”, not only in the sense of designing unique footwear but also in the consciousness of creating value in the lives of my future colleagues and clients.
Molly : I believe design sets the trend. Over the years I have observed that pop culture is merely a means of transferring high culture to the masses in order to drive inclusivity and fashionably eradicate the restrictiveness of class structure.
Molly : To effectively visualize and communicate concepts as well as ensure the proper functioning of footwear mechanisms.
Molly : I use Adobe Illustrator to successfully envision my designs and an array of manual tools for developing my footwear. I usually sketch with your basic pencil and use a tape measure with some masking tape to draw a pattern on my shoe last, after which I transfer and trace the outlines using an awl and retractable utility knife. Other than these tools, my sewing machine, skive knife, hammer, and electric creaser are also essentials to me.
Molly : Color adds meaning to life. One cannot accurately convey the concept of a design without utilizing the precise color palette and materials that connote its intended meaning. Materials especially supplement the sensation that the designer is going for in order to stimulate the observer’s sense of touch and appreciation of craftmanship.
Molly : I automatically delve into an analysis of the materials and techniques that went into the production of that design.
Molly : Yes, I believe in co-design, however, I do not have an ideal design partner. I truly believe that there is something to learn from everyone.
Molly : By progressively working on it and assessing my previous projects to determine areas where I can grow technically and creatively
Molly : My go-to colour is black, favourite place is my design studio, favourite food is pretty much debatable since I’m a food lover, my favourite season is Summer and my favourite brand is most definitely the one I am building, Molly.
Molly : My day is great when I am able to execute design concepts as proposed, but I remain motivated by staying focused on my vision and my ultimate goal.
Molly : I would say yes. I used to always design clothing and admire great designers and their works when I was younger.
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