At Ruche, we love supporting indie brands, and B.A.I.T Footwear is one of our favorites! B.A.I.T., which stands for "But Another Innocent Tale," is a charming line of vintage-inspired shoes that perfectly complements our favorite dresses and blouses alike (we even spotted them on one of our favorite celebrities, Zooey Deschanel!). We had the chance to interview the incredibly sweet Julie Kim, designer of this imaginative brand. Read on to learn more about her company and the inspiration behind her gorgeous shoes.
Tell us a little about B.A.I.T. Footwear. How did it begin?
B.A.I.T. Footwear was created in the summer of 2011. I had been working as a footwear designer for various companies, but was honestly not feeling passionate about the shoes I was designing. My true love and passion was always vintage clothing and accessories. When it came to vintage shoes though, I found it truly hard to find the right ones in modern sizing (not to mention the condition). I also found that although there was so much beauty in vintage footwear, there wasn’t enough color to go with all my pretty vintage dresses and separates. I really started the brand to make shoes for myself and my friends. It was probably a very naive and innocent idea at the time, but I really created B.A.I.T. to design the shoes that I love in hopes that other gals would love them too!
Have you always wanted to be a shoe designer?
I can honestly say that I have always, always loved shoes! I was a sportswear designer first, but an opportunity came up to work in shoes. My mom does tell me stories about how I would pick out all my clothes as a child, and my shoes were always on the nightstand. When she’d try to put them on the floor, I would be a very unhappy little girl. I guess you follow your passion and it leads you to the right path.
Where do you find inspiration for your new designs?
Because our shoes are vintage-inspired, I do look to the past for many of my inspirations. I do a lot of browsing through vintage magazines and catalogs. I also shop quite a lot of vintage and that’s always an inspiration. Although our shoes are vintage-inspired, I think it’s important to keep it updated and modern. Our shoes are certainly for a gal that loves vintage and vintage inspiration, but it’s really for a gal that wants to feel pretty in a pair of sweet feminine shoes.
Which new design is your favorite? And what would you wear with them?
I must say that I have a little crush on our Ione in Wine! I would pair it with this very gorgeous Sugarhill Burrito Dress and these amazing earrings & bangles (I’d stack them up on both arms!). It’s a perfect outfit for a date night or spring soiree at a friend’s home and this versatile style goes with practically everything!
How do you want women to feel when they wear your shoes?
The word that comes to mind is “wonderful." I wish for every gal who wears our shoes to experience the most wonderful things. We’ve had lovely gals who have worn our shoes for their engagement parties, for their wedding day, and for baby showers! It’s such an honor really, and in the end I hope our shoes make a woman feel lovely, happy and confident!
What are your future plans for B.A.I.T.?
Well, we are a company turning 3 years old this June (whoo-hoo)! We've very grateful for the support of small indie shops and amazing retailers like Ruche. We hope to continue doing what we love, which is designing and offering pretty vintage-inspired shoes to all of our wonderful customers. We hope to expand our presence in more boutiques and shops across the United States and internationally. We are a small brand who believes in grass roots and word of mouth, so we hope that our customers will continue to love us and spread cheer about our shoes!
Now just for fun, tell us the first thing that comes to mind!
Phone, keys, wallet and… a lip gloss in the prettiest shade of pink!
You can never have enough… shoes!
Coffee or tea? Oh goodness, coffee!!!
A good book or a good movie? A great book for sure!
Polka dots, plaid or stripes? I’m a polka dot girl all the way!
-- Julie, Designer for B.A.I.T. Footwear
Which pair of Julie's shoes are at the top of your wishlist? Shop our full selection here! For past interviews with other designers and brands, take a look at the following posts: 31 Bits, Seychelles, Synergy.