It seems like just yesterday that I met Ce Ce for the first time. Her now legendary, 80%20 hand painted slip-ons, came on the scene when such styles were primarily available for men–but really just starting to trend for the ladies. The skate/surf industry was booming, the lifestyle/fashion side of that business was crossing over to female market, and Chin was there to chime in with her freshman 80%20 collection. The timing was right, the passion was there, and the boutique collection developed cult like fans from it’s first days on the fashion scene. I met Ce Ce at a trade show, at which point she was still slinging her hand customized shoes, but also introducing printed versions like the archived classic seen below (still one of my favorites!). Ce Ce Chin, the voice and guide behind 80%20, has stayed true to her initial vision, but has taken the lifestyle brand well beyond slip-ons and the days of customizing shoes with paint. We recently caught up with the NYC based busy-lady for some inside dish on all things 80%20–and some insider info on the next collection. A true trail-blazer in the shoe industry, it’s always a pleasure to catch up with Ce Ce and hear what is going on—get the scoop below and shop Fall 80%20 HERE.
1. We love 80%20 around here, it’s perfect for Portland and fits our lifestyle around the office. What
are the principles around the design and function of 80%20 that keep it fresh and on point?
I focus on the sweet spot of form and function- the perfect shoes that have the downtown edge, but also wearable to keep up with a very active lifestyle.
Zooey Deschanel, especially her character on The New Girl. 80% quirky, 20% relatable
4. Top Five songs on repeat around the 80%20 HQ?
Human League “The Things that Dreams are Made Of”
Washed Out “I feel it All
“YACHT “Psychic City”
5. How many years has your brand been around—and when you first launched with customized slip-ons years ago, did you really see it turning into a full time lifestyle brand?
8. Any hints about 80%20 Spring 2013? Themes? Direction? Insider sneak peaks?
9. I think a lot of people outside the shoe industry don’t realize how male dominated the business side is at the mid-tier price point. Has being a woman worked for, or against you, in this field? Do you feel a bit like a shoe trailblazer for ladies?