Meet the Designers: Keren Longkumer and Valerie Quant of LOQ

Sole mates and BFFs, Keren Longkumer and Valerie Quant approach shoe design with a new, modern perspective on the classics. A boot, a mule or a loafer feel totally fresh in their hands. Hailing from Nagaland and Los Angeles respectively, the duo combines influences from every aspect of their life and always land in minimalism. And we love them for it. Obviously we had to find out more, so we asked and they answered.

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HOW DID YOU GUYS MEET? We met at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Los Angeles during the Footwear Design Program in 2011. We collaborated on a few projects and realized that we had a similar eye for design and the rest is history.

Aurora James on her Brother Vellies NYFW debut and personal style

Sometimes you really do have to travel to the other side of the world to find your calling. When Aurora James discovered vellies — the original desert boot handcrafted by artisans  — on a trip to Africa, she didn’t just bring a few pairs back to her friends, she dropped the mic on souvenirs and started her own label to support local craftsmanship. Today, Brother Vellies has a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund win under its belt, a major collection debut for SS16 that brought out Kanye West and a store in Manhattan. Keep your eye on Aurora, the Toronto-native is already quizzed regularly by Into the Gloss, Vogue and The Selby about her enviable style. Here, she talks business, wardrobe staples and her deep love for coconut oil.

YOUR PRESENTATION HAS BEEN TALKED ABOUT AS ONE OF THE BEST NYFW DEBUTS EVER. HOW ARE YOU FEELING IN THE AFTERGLOW? Wow, really? That’s very flattering. I had four weeks to pull that together and it was really challenging. But as a Creative it’s always incredible to see your story come to life in a physical environment. I am glad that everyone on my team came together to make that show happen! I could not have done it without them. Seriously.

WHAT DID YOU DO TO RELAX AND UNWIND AFTER? I burned some palo santo and drank a glass of wine, woke up the next morning and got ready to do it all over again.