In 2012, Los Angeles native Jasmine Larian basically hacked into all our Instagram accounts with the introduction of her instant success of a brand Cult Gaia. You may not recognize the brand’s name still, but you definitely recognize the product: those incredibly shaped bags that make you stop that cool girl in the street and ask, “Um, where’d you get that bag?”
The Ark Bag is what made Cult Gaia such a … cult (having Jessica Alba tote it around didn’t hurt), so Larian quickly expanded into new categories, like hair accessories, jewelry, and YES, even ready-to-wear.
And thanks to the shopping goddesses above, today we can celebrate the launch of her newest category (and quite frankly, the one I’m most excited for) SHOES.
The Cult Gaia shoe collection draws inspiration from the open work details we love from the bags combined with a simplicity that is so important to the brand’s aesthetic. The line will include 11 various and will retail between $225-$350.
Here, we speak exclusively to the designer about her new collection.
What has the biggest challenge been expanding your brand into new categories like ready-to-wear, and shoes?
Bandwidth and making sure everything feels incredibly thoughtful and intentional. I never want anything to feel like an afterthought or that we are hustling adding categories. It’s really important to me that everything feels organic to our brand.
What’s something you learned about your brand as you started making shoes?
That we are really good at creating pieces that are out of the ordinary. That that is what is resonating most with our customers.
What qualities do your shoes share with the popular Cult Gaia bags?
The shoes feel sculptural, have elements of open cutwork and bamboo. It’s a mix of natural and synthetic materials, which makes a beautiful contrast.
What sort of inspiration or reference points did you use when designing the shoes?
Our existing bags and ready-to-wear were really the reference point for the shoe range. We kept thinking what would you wear with our clothes and our bags? How can we complete her look? I feel like we succeeded. It doesn’t feel overdone and everything feels classic, which is important to me.
Do you have a favorite pair? Personally, I’m a Sage girl ($325; net-a-porter.com).
I love the Sage and Alia ($325; net-a-porter.com).
Your price point is one of the many reasons your brand has been so successful. How important is it to you as a designer to keep your product in this accessible luxury category?
Super important! I feel like I’m designing for myself and my friends, and I want us and them to be able to have many beautiful pieces that they can collect overtime without spending a fortune.
Most importantly, can we expect a fall range of shoes?
If it feels right and I’m inspired!
Cult Gaia shoes will be available starting May 7 on Net-a-Porter and CultGaia.com.
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