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.
Carol Miltimore, founder and head designer of Seek Collective, is a vet in the fashion game. Having spent some time working for major brands like Calvin Klein Jeans, Michael Kors, Converse and Armani Exchange, she felt like the fashion industry and its customers were more disconnected than two teens trying to figure out a long distance relationship. So a few years ago she split and started her own brand, Seek Collective. Seek produces its clothing the way green parents obsessively raise their children, making sure that every product that goes into them is as natural and fairly produced as possible. Promoting transparency is at the heart of Seek’s process as all of their garments are handmade and hand-printed, using natural dyes and organic materials. Carol took a short break from bettering the world to answer some of our questions.
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YOUR PROCESS IS SO TRANSPARENT. IT’S SUPER INSPIRING! WHY IS SUSTAINABILITY AND EMPOWERMENT IMPORTANT TO YOU AS A DESIGNER? Thank you! The process of how things get made inspires me and affects the designs and outcome so I really want it to be interesting to customers as well. Sustainability and empowerment matter to me a great deal as a designer, as a business owner, as well as a person sharing this planet with so many. After working as a designer for a decade in different companies and experiencing a detachment between designer, producer, and customer, I knew I wanted to have a business that explores the potential of creating clothing in a way that will empower instead of exploit, inform customers how and where their items are being consciously made, as well as be contemporary, relevant, and unique in terms of aesthetic.