In Conversation With: Emma Winter, Creative Director of La Tribe
Meet Emma Winter, the founder and Creative Director of the iconic Kiwi footwear brand, La Tribe.
In just 8 years, La Tribe has become a go-to footwear brand for women across New Zealand and Australia.
Inspired by how people style and incorporate fashion into their everyday lives, Emma and her team create a range of effortless and stylish shoes, like the highly coveted Studded Sandals and Elke Braided Sandals.
Continue reading to get to know more about Emma, her journey in fashion and inspirations.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what a typical day in your life is like.
My day starts with a coffee and cuddles with my babies. I like early mornings as the house is quiet and the sun is rising.
What was the process of starting La Tribe and how has the brand evolved into what it is today?
La Tribe started as a passion project, it was a creative outlet for me. I never dreamt it would have grown this big. We are now stocked in some of the most coveted boutiques across Australia and New Zealand.
How did you begin your journey in fashion?
I started working in fashion retail when I left school ( planning on taking a year off before studying at uni) - In my 20’s I worked my way through various sales roles in different companies - Retail Management, Fashion Buyer, National Sales Manager - My husband and I eventually starting our own sales agency in 2008 which grew into a distribution company.
What influences your personal style?
Interior design, music, nature and my friends are a constant inspiration.
Where do you draw your inspiration from when you’re designing and what inspired the latest collection?
I love seeing how people style and incorporate fashion into their everyday lives. A lot of footwear trends are led by clothing fashion. For example denim is such a strong trend this coming season so we are introducing new colours such as pecan, cocoa, milk into our palate which works so well paired back with denim.
What's your personal favourite style in the range and how will you wear it?
At the moment I am really enjoying our new ballet flat, it’s such a classic. I love how it’s so simple and can be worn effortlessly with almost any outfit.
What do you love to do when you’re not working?
I really enjoy being in my garden with a glass of wine. It’s another type of creative outlet for me and a nice contrast to the fashion game. It’s grounding for me. Our latest project is upgrading the veggie boxes and we’re attempting to grow watermelons this year. I’ve been told it’s going to be a long hot summer so I’m holding on to that advice haha.
What do you feel is most important when designing footwear?
We exist for women to feel confident, comfortable and effortless on any day, for any occasion - All our designs are created with this philosophy in mind. Premium quality materials are very important to me and I won’t stop until I’m confident our designs are the best possible quality they can be at the price point we offer.
What has been one of the highlights of your career to date?
When the former Prime Minister requested a pair of our penny heels and wore them when she was officially sworn in by the governor-general.
Where is your favourite destination of all time and why?
Aitutaki - It’s a small island in the Cooks - We got married there and it’s absolute paradise.
What are you reading / watching / listening to at the moment?
I’ve been listening to a lot of masterclass podcasts lately on various subjects - Really interesting. Stock Market, Gardening, Fashion Styling.
What are your most cherished rituals?
A hot shower.
What’s your most treasured item in your wardrobe?
My jewellery - I have a few Jessica Mccormack pieces and a pair of vintage pearl earrings from my husband’s nana which I wore on our wedding day.
Colourful or neutral?
I am a neutral gal. Always in the tonal palate.
Heels or flats?
I’ve always gravitated towards flats - French chic - A good pair of jeans, crisp white shirt and a cute pair of flats.
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