meet the designer

The response and support we received from our recent collabo-contest with Jeffrey Campbell for the next JC box design was overwhelming. The month long contest brought thousands of emails, hundreds of entries, volumes of creativity, and in the final 48 hours of the heated battle–thousands of votes. When the dust had settled on what is now known as our most popular contest ever—one winner stood. Ann-Katherin Kuhn won over the hearts and eyes of the Solestruck community with her water color inspired Jeffrey Campbell fanatasy creation. In addition to 1,000 USD of JC goods from the site, her box being produced for use by Jeffrey Campbell for a future collection, Ann-Katherin also took some time to email recently with our creative team–giving some insight into her work, life, joys and passion for shoes. Much like her entry for this contest, Ann-Katherin comes across as unique, talented and right on point during this amazing email Q&A. Thanks again to all those who entered, participated and voted. Enjoy this interview.

[KUHN wearing her new LITAs, one of the shoes she selected upon winning the contest]

FULL NAME: Ann-Kathrin Kuhn
AGE: 18

1. What was the inspiration behind your design?
One of the rules of the contest was to be inspired by the whole concept of Jeffrey Campbell shoes. The entire history and  JC girls, so the first thing that came up to my mind was a feminine, unconcerned, and fashionable design. That is how I personally see and feel about the brand’s shoes. Any girl who wears them certainly feels feminine, quite provocative (because of the audacious shape of the heels) but also inspired to creativity and a high sense of fashion. I used watercolours in order to demonstrate the sensitive aspect of any fashionista, because we all know we have a love affair with shoes ;) !! (that’s why I painted several pair of high heels, scattered between huge plants and flowers, that together suggest a certain colourful way of thinking)

2. Is the box a self portrait?
It is not a self portrait, but it really depicts the way I feel towards these shoes. This girl is the universal JC girl to me. As they all have their own style, I could not paint the plurality of every single JC fan. Thus, this portrait does not represent a certain person, on the contrary, it simply represents the feelings and flowing thoughts we all have in common when we get blinded by all the wonderful new Jeffrey Campbell shoes!

3. Do you work in the artistic/creative world?
Not really. At the moment I’m still a student, graduating in June. I intend to go in a Fine arts University in Geneva (the HEAD university) in a few months. This solestruck contest was my first art contest, and it really means a lot to me because the fact that my painting will be printed on the boxes, is just a huge chance for me. In addition to my  schooling, I’ve also create a jewelry and shoe business. That’s now 4 years I’ve been designing my own jewelry and custom painting shoes that I sell on my facebook. I really love mixing art and business, and that’s what I would like to do later on. Happy customers simply make me feel happy as well, hence I could live my whole life painting shoes and crafting jewels!

4. Have you been busy deciding which JC’s you were going to get with your 1,000 USD shopping spree!
Honestly, not at all! I was so crazed in trying to make my friends vote that I really had no time to think about the shoes I would be taking later. In fact, I even never thought about winning. I entered the JC contest the very last day, just a few hours from the closing time. I remember having received the solestruck newsletter regularly but I always deleted it, thinking I would never had a chance. But the last day I got the e-mail, I was on holiday so I though “Let’s try! We never know!”. So I made my painting, that was just “for fun” at the beginning and now I’ve won the contest. I have to admit that I still don’t realize that this could happen to me! That’s why I would like to thank again, all the people who voted for me, all the people who took the time to look at each box and to thank YOU solestruck and JC for having made such a great contest!

5. What would you say is your personal style?
My style is definitely poetic, sensitive, fashion focused, colourful and light at the same time. That totally describes me and all my paintings, and this explains my love to watercolours!

6. Describe in brief a typical Friday night in your life!
As I study a lot for my future art school, I don’t go out as much as I did before. But a really really good Friday is when I see my friends and when we go clubbing in Monaco or in Nice. They totally have the same point of view than I have on fashion, and especially SHOES! We all have Jeffrey Campbell shoes and I can’t wait to get my glitter Lita’s to feel myself like a disco ball ;D
Thus, a typical but great Friday night is a 100% girl’s night!

7. What songs are currently dominating your Ipod?

1. Benga – Crunked Up
2. The Bloody Beetroots – Analectus
3. Cassius – I love you so
4. The Chemical Brothers – Midnight Madness
5. Cinnamon Chasers – The wolrd is yours
6. Crystal Castles – Intimate & Doe Deer
7. Santana – Europe

8. If you could travel anywhere in the world where would it be?
I would love to go to Moscow, I think it has a long and difficult history and that’s makes it culturally so interesting. The monuments and the whole Russian language is amazing!

9. What food could you live on for the rest of your life?
I’m in love with light, Mediteranean food. I could live from fish, fruits and vegetables a whole life long. It has something healthy that makes me feel happy! Italian and Thaï foods are delicious as well!

10. If you could be any shoe on our site—which shoe would you be and why?
I would definitely be the Haus of Price Mega Bootie! This gem encrusted shoe is the most wonderful shoe I’ve ever seen, it is funny, glamourous, insane, artsy and choking! Everything I love. It brings out a certain delight, a joy of living. Everytime I look at these shoes it makes me want to go partying!