Hi Shannon, Thank you for sitting with #RinconCult to discuss Starch Slides. We are huge fans and would love to share this amazing brand with our readers. To get started, tell us a bit about the woman behind Starch Slides. Where are you from? What are your hobbies? I was born in California and raised in Kansas. I am very active, I love hiking, biking and working out. I also love learning whether it be watching a documentary, reading a biography or looking at cool blogs and learning about new brands that are starting and doing inspiring things. I am lucky to live in New York City where so much is at my doorstep. My ideal afternoon would be getting a coffee and vintage shopping with my boyfriend, maybe followed by a sushi dinner.
Now, I see you have a background in the industry. Can you give us a little more information? How did you get your start? At 18, I was scouted by a modeling agent and moved to NYC to pursue modeling. I loved traveling and the business of fashion (which I was able to experience while working in front of the camera). I went to college for marketing and stayed in the industry managing and buying for retail stores. I loved brands that were standing for something and trying to do their part to improve the world. I knew I could take my fashion background and start something eco-friendly with a more fashion forward approach...I fell in love with the fashion industry while modeling in NYC and traveling the world. I wanted to grow a brand that I was proud of and that helped the planet, and that is how Starch Slides was born.
Could you elaborate a bit more on the "birth" of Starch Slides?? As a fashion buyer for many years and I loving to watching a brand start and grow from nothing, I felt I could make a difference in the fashion world but was waiting until I had the perfect first product. I love styling with mens’ button up shirts, throwing them over a dress, tying them about my waist so when I thought of using them to make shoes everything clicked and it went from there.
Why go the eco-conscious route? Why Vegan? I think the answer to this is really why not? There is no planet B, so we should be doing everything in our power to make this planet a little better for our children. By bringing awareness to textile waste and showing people that waste isn’t always what it seems we feel like maybe, we are doing our small part to make a big change. I went vegan because I feel like with the resources we have if it can be vegan it should be. I am a pescatarian and choose not to eat dairy or meat because the industry is so inhumane so it wouldn’t make sense for my slides to not be vegan.
Eco-friendly fashion seems to grow more popular every day. What are some of the characteristics of your line that make it stand out from the pack? I would say Starch Slides has an exclusivity appeal. Every shirt only makes 4 slides and once they are gone they are sold they are never duplicated. I think it makes it very special to know your shoes are limited edition, also people are so proud to say the story of Starch Slides when someone says “cool shoes!” being able to respond “thanks, they are made from used mens’ button up shirts!” is pretty cool.
What are your thoughts on Fast Fashion Giants (Such as H&M, Zara, F21)? I understand people shopping on a budget and I can’t knock what they do as brands. H&M has been making a big effort to bring awareness to fast fashion by taking a big stance in world recycling week, they are also doing more and more eco-friendly pieces so I applaud that. I think we all can do our part in different ways and I do see more and more people asking the question, "how was this made?” which is so great.
What inspires your designs? Life. I want Starch Slides to invoke a sense of travel and easiness like beach vacation. If you check out our IG @Starchslides I think you will clearly see who we are as a brand, not just a shoe. Starch Slides are for the girl on the go, running out for coffee, traveling to the beach, picking up your kids at daycare. They are the perfect amount of masculinity but still feminine enough.
Who is your own favorite designer, and why? So many designers inspire me. I think to name a favorite is so hard but I love love love Isabel Marant. She is a women who gets shit done. I love her aesthetic and how she stays true to her style.
Any advice for others who may be thinking of starting an eco-friendly brand? Do it. Everything seems a lot more daunting when you are thinking about it, try it out, if you fail try another way. Overthinking something is the killer of progress.
What can we expect from Starch Slides in the future? A lot, we are planning on expanding styles and growing as a brand. Follow us on Instagram to stay up-to-date @starchslides.