Up and Coming Shoe Designer Mallory Musante

Thursday, February 03, 2011


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Bryant breakout star Mallory Musante has been turning heads since launching a hand-painted, eponymously named footwear line in the spring of 2009. The chosen kicks of a certain reality TV Housewife will be making their way down the runway at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York City in just a few days. We chatted with the young but ambitious designer before her shoes make their Big Apple debut.

What inspired you to launch a footwear brand?

My interest in starting my own footwear brand was actually sparked by the movie PS: I Love You. After seeing that movie, I decided to take a 5-day intensive shoe-making course in San Francisco through the London-based accessory design school Prescott & Mackay, where I learn how to hand-make a pair of women’s pumps. I then met a man that hand paints sneakers at a conference in Chicago. After meeting him, I did a lot of research and found there were very few options for women to have hand painted shoes. Because I’ve always painted and have an obsession with shoes, I decided to combine my passions to create unique shoes for women.

Do you hand paint every shoe? What are the materials used to make the shoes?

Yes, I hand paint every pair myself. The shoes are manufactured for me but all of them are genuine leather because the paint I use is specifically designed for leather. I then use an acrylic finish to protect the paint even more.

How did your experience at Bryant University prepare you to launch the line?

The whole process of starting my shoe line began my sophomore year at Bryant. The conference where I met the man that paints sneakers was the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization National Conference, which was an organization I was part of at Bryant. As I developed my idea more, I worked with professors and other resources at Bryant to further my business. My last semester at Bryant I did a directed study where I worked solely on developing my business so as soon as I graduated I could jump right into it. I actually still work very closely with a Bryant professor whenever I need guidance, advice, or to just bounce different ideas around.

What inspires your designs? Who are some designers/artists you admire?

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I find inspiration for my designs everywhere! It could come from a piece of jewelry I see, a pattern on a piece of furniture, or a sign I see on the side of the road. I always have my eyes open and am writing down different design ideas. One artist I am obsessed with is Vincent van Gogh. Even though his work is very different than my own, I love his art and find it so interesting how he layers the paint to create these amazing pieces of art.

What are some of the line’s accomplishments you are most proud of? What are some of your goals?

So far 2011 has been a year of amazing accomplishments! The biggest to date has been that Alex McCord wore a pair of my shoes to the Jonathan Joseph Peters show at StyleWeek Providence. However, this month, my shoes will also be gracing the runways at New York Fashion Week, which is another accomplishment I am very excited about! Some goals I have for the future are to bring on other artists to provide a variety of design aesthetics to my customers and I also would love to open a studio space that will be half store and half workspace.


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