California Designer Charlotte Stone Is Creating Footwear For The Ultimate Cool Girl
The first time I heard about Charlotte Stone, she still had a private Instagram profile. The sense that I couldn't yet learn more about this brand in the days of its early buzziness only made it more mysterious. But then came the impressive stockists (Ban.do, Urban Outfitters, Amour Vert, Myrtle) and the celebrity fans (Solange, Brie Larson) who fell for the designer's colorful, playful footwear and soon enough it wasn't much of a secret anymore.
The Ontario born-and-bred Stone has come a long way since starting her eponymous line in 2014, but this certainly wasn't her first foray into footwear. The designer studied at FIDM and then honed her craft in Tuscany before settling into positions for major brands including shoe giant Steve Madden.
Though the brand was born in Los Angeles, it tagged along with Charlotte and her husband Steve (who together create line of lounge chairs when she's not coming up with the newest shoe for LA girls to obsess over) when they moved to Ventura. The beachside setting perfectly lends itself to the vibe that Charlotte Stone has created for itself: ease, comfort, and a bit of quirk (if you've been to Ventura, you know) and the fact that the area is conducive to Charlotte's own interests in surfing, yoga, and gardening likely influences her to channel the California spirit in every pair she designs.
We caught up with Stone at her new — and first ever — storefront, a pop-up at Culver City's Platform, and besides admiring the sustainable new digs (repurposed excess wood and fabric from Charlotte and Steve's furniture business created the fixtures as well as the wall hanging by Annette Heully) we got to know a bit more about the inspiration behind her brand, what she loves about designing in Southern California, and obviously, what pair she's living in now.
How would you describe the Charlotte Stone woman in three words?
Confident. Feminine. Festive.
What pair of CS are you living in right now and how do you love to wear them?
I’m living in the AVA boots. With the set-up of our shop at Platform, we had a good four weeks of overtime in my husband's work shop and these boots never left my feet. They were made in LA by the factory that makes boots for the LAPD, so they’re built for comfort and durability, but I made them in optic white, lavender and cognac which feels modern and feminine.
Speaking of your Platform pop-up, what are you most excited about with having the brand's own physical space?
What’s really exciting about having my own space is that we get to see the complete collection all together — and in a space that reflects our vision and vibe. The shop feels like our studio space up in Ventura; bright, warm, inspiring.
What do you love about living and working in Southern California?
I love Ventura so much. We started our businesses in Echo Park, but moved here two years ago. Its’ really mellow there, so it’s a nice contrast to our hectic lives as business owners. We get to surf more and make time to enjoy this little town. Plus, my forté is designing sandals, so living in perpetual summer works for me.
What other local brands do you most admire?
Iron & Resin is a local brand up here in Ventura that I’m really into. They’re about surfing and motorcycles mostly, but we get really great camping gear from them and my husband swears by their work pants! Most importantly, they’re about community and they rallied in a huge way when the Thomas Fire hit Ventura, bringing together their friends and connections to start Help California and make a big difference to people affected by the fires. I aim to be a brand that gives back as I grow, and they’re a great example of that.
All photos via Joey Reedy