Style HQ: Inside Kurt Geiger's Workplace

Kurt Geiger, we salute you. One of the leading lights of the footwear world has just celebrated its 50th birthday. Not that you would think it was a day past its prime, considering its current offering of badass ankle boots, showstopping heels, and statement flats.
Yes, the brand is better than ever. So, we decided to go behind the scenes to discover what makes this company continue to tick after half a century in the biz. From the CEO to the marketing manager, we caught up with the men and women who help us, and the rest of the world, put our best foot feet forward. Step inside, why don't you?

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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
Sara McConnachie, head of PR
Describe your personal aesthetic in five words or less.
“Classic meets playful.”

How has working for Kurt Geiger influenced your style?
“It has refined my style. Now I dress from the shoes up.”

What was your last big purchase on the site?
“Our digital flagship has a great edit of the collections, but my last purchase was the Kurt Geiger London boots I’m wearing. My first boot purchase of the season had to be made in our South Molton street store. It’s a tradition.”

What's the craziest/wildest things that happen at work?
“The craziest was a blizzard in New York the day before our Fashion Week launch for the new boutique on Bleecker. We weathered it by making a snowman in the garden dressed in stilettos.”

What's your favourite in-office tradition?
“Fresh flowers from Scarlet & Violet. Always red and always roses.”

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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
Describe the proudest moment in your career so far.
“Joining the brand for ‘Everything but the Dress’ to launch accessories and our first tweet going out from @Kurt_Geiger.”

Describe the best thing about your job.
“It’s live, real, and happening in the moment. Since joining Kurt Geiger, the brand has undergone exciting global growth so the best thing about my job is that it evolves with the fast moving needs of the business — from introducing the brand to San Francisco to the Fashion Matters Gala dinner we recently hosted to raise funds for Cordwainers at London College of Fashion. Every single day is different.”

What have been the biggest lessons you've learned at Kurt Geiger that you want to share?
“Be clear about your vision. You’re nowhere without your team and it’s good to be proud of yourself. I just realised I gave you more than one proud moment! I’ve also learnt just how thrilling it is to PR a brand with aspiration and accessibility.”

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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
What advice would you give to someone trying to break into your profession?
“Be genuine and work hard. If you love what you do, then the right opportunities will find you.”

Do you have an office uniform, and if so, describe it.
“My office identity is smart and unfussy and usually, I’m in heels.”

Do have a favourite part of the office? Why do you love it?
“The showroom and the sofas. They look deceptively hard, but they’re actually super squishy.”

Where do you go to in the office or elsewhere to get inspiration?
“I enter Scarlett’s world on Everythingbutthedress.com or through the volunteering I do for Smart Works (formerly Dress for Success London). The empowerment of clothes and accessories is a huge inspiration for me.”
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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
Just imagine if all these shoes were yours...
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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
The B Series that is all about the statement stiletto heel. We like very much.
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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
Grabbing a cup of joe before the day begins.
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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
Neil Clifford, CEO

Describe your personal aesthetic in five words or less.
“An Englishman in New York.”

How has working for Kurt Geiger influenced your style?
“I have 325 pairs of shoes!”

What was your last big purchase on the site?
Chelsea boots.

What's the craziest/wildest things that happen at work?
“The building next door burning down.”

What's your favourite in-office tradition?
“Our annual summer party in Hyde park.”

Do you have an office uniform, and what is it?
“Richard James bespoke suits.”

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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
Describe the best thing about your job.
“Using the left and right hand side of my brain in the same meeting.”

What have been the biggest lessons you've learned at Kurt Geiger that you want to share?
“Always get up earlier than anyone else. Your brain is the sharpest at 5 a.m.”

What advice would you give to someone trying to break into your profession?
“Love fashion and ALWAYS make your boss look like a genius.”
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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
Do you have a favourite part of the office? Why do you love it?
“The showroom. We use it for everything from seasonal product presentations to our retail teams, press appointments to big Great Britton gatherings for the whole of HQ.”

Where do you go to in the office or elsewhere to get inspiration?
“The design floor. Design is at the core of everything we do so our design studio is the first place I go to get inspired.”

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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
Hello, mood board.
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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
The sofas have been nicknamed "lego" by the Kurt Geiger employees. But, they are very comfortable to sit on.
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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
Rebecca Farrar-Hockley, creative director

Describe your personal aesthetic in five words or less.
“Clean, unfussy, and classical.”

How has working for Kurt Geiger influenced your style?
“I have too many shoes and accessories! So, my clothing has become quieter now and my shoes and accessories do the talking.”

What was your last big purchase on the site?
“I’m a bit embarrassed to admit it, but I bought the whole B series collection when it arrived. They were designed with me in mind!”

What's the craziest/wildest things that happen at work?
“I don’t do crazy at work!”

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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
What's your favourite in-office tradition?
“A hefty dose of caffeine every morning on the balcony outside my office with my colleagues whatever the weather!”

Describe the proudest moment in your career so far.
"Beyoncé wearing my favourite croc-leather rucksack was a good moment. But, I’ll get equally excited when I see a cool girl walking around London in our designs. That’s when I feel proud.”

Describe the best thing about your job.
“Working with a hugely creative, talented team of people who are as passionate about Kurt Geiger as I am.”

What have been the biggest lessons you've learned at Kurt Geiger that you want to share?
“Really care about quality, be happy to be a control freak, and always keep trying!”

What advice would you give to someone trying to break into your profession?
“Be eager to work and never turn down an opportunity.”

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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
Do you have an office uniform, and what is it?
“Wearing navy blue. It is the perfect backdrop to any shoe or accessory.”

Do you have a favourite part of the office? Why do you love it?
“The design studio because there’s not a spreadsheet in sight!”

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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
Where do go to in the office or elsewhere to get inspiration?
“We have an exciting partnership with Cordwainers at London College of Fashion, which counts as its alumni Nicholas Kirkwood, Charlotte Olympia, Rupert Sanderson, and Sophia Webster. We recently invited students to Britton street for their first design project and the winner is actually having her design made in Italy at the moment! Cordwainers alumni are a big part of our success and essential to the design history of Kurt Geiger. It’s important to support and nurture future talent. Spending time with the students is a great inspiration.”
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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
An origami shoe made for the launch of the B-series collection.
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The press and marketing teams hard at work.
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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
It's all about team work at Kurt Geiger.
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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
Baubles and bows are a must this season!
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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
Sarah Larn, accessories design manager

Describe your personal aesthetic in five words or less.
“Timeless pieces. Sexy but understated.”

How has working for Kurt Geiger influenced your style?
“I wear higher heels!”

What was your last big purchase on the site?
Kurt Geiger London ‘Britton’. The ss’14 bag collection is designed around the signature metal heel, so it's a style I've wanted to buy for awhile.”

What have been the biggest lessons you've learned at Kurt Geiger that you want to share?
“As a designer, it's good to always think about the bigger picture. How does what you've created relate to marketing, visual merchandising, the buyers, and the budget? I can’t sit in a room and draw all day. To be exposed to the whole business is invaluable!”

What advice would you give to someone trying to break into your profession?
“Do internships. I worked in Browns PR office and also the production office at Burberry. It’s so good to experience different aspects of the industry… it's not something you can learn, you have to experience it.”

Do you have an office uniform?
“No, I always want to feel comfortable at work.”

Do have a favourite part of the office? Why do you love it?
“The design floor is good for spreading out and making mood boards and the floor to ceiling windows are cool for looking out onto the city.”

Where do go to in the office or elsewhere to get inspiration?
“Travel! Once a year I go to Coachella in California. One of my best friends lives there, and I always come back with ideas. I also love, love NYC. The energy there is really inspiring.”
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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
What's the craziest/wildest things that happen at work?
“People lose their heads when a parcel is delayed. I can find myself on the phone to the factory or a courier for an entire day! You start going crazy; it's the small things.”

What's your favourite in-office tradition?
“Making tea.”

Describe the proudest moment in your career so far.
“I always feel proud when I see people on the street wearing something I've designed; that's very satisfying.”

Describe the best thing about your job.
“Being able to create something from scratch, including the metal hardware and then seeing it all come together at the end.”

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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
Jose Luis Rhodes Lopez, buying and design manager, accesories

Describe your personal aesthetic in five words or less.
“Shirts, skinny jeans, no socks, long beard, and aviator sunglasses.”

How has working for Kurt Geiger influenced your style?
“Moving to London has given me the opportunity to discover a world of amazing printed shirts.”

What was your last big purchase on the site?
Brogues.”

What's the craziest/wildest things that happen at work?
“The day before a presentation or a fashion show is hectic: Last minute changes, waiting for THAT specific bag. It’s so exciting!”

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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
What's your favourite in-office tradition?
“The meeting for a new collection, with our team sharing ideas about inspiration, shapes, materials, colours...that’s when fashion begins!”

Describe the proudest moment in your career so far.
“The day my mum and Carine Roitfeld wore one of the bags developed by my team.”

Describe the best thing about your job.
“Being creative, living in London, and traveling around the world. I just love my job!”

What have been the biggest lessons you've learned at Kurt Geiger that you want to share?
“Got a smart idea? Just share it! Things are not black or white.”

What advice would you give to someone trying to break into your profession?
“Work hard, read as many magazines as possible, and don’t believe all you read in blogs.”

Do you have a favourite part of the office? Why do you love it?
“The terrace, the place we use for brainstorming and meetings.”

Where do you go to in the office or elsewhere to get inspiration?
“I get inspiration by walking around London.”
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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
Ruby Fisher, KG Kurt Geiger head of design

Describe your personal aesthetic in five words or less.
“Minimal with a statement accessory.”

How has working for Kurt Geiger influenced your style?
“I’m brave about my accessories.”

What was your last big purchase on the site?
“The KG Kurt Geiger Vice boot. I’m wearing it now!”

What's the craziest/wildest things that happen at work?
“We were once on a work trip at the Vegas shoe fair and the whole team were out having dinner and Michael Jackson was at the next table…very memorable.”

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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
What's your favourite in-office tradition?
“Every Friday the PR team Instagram someone’s style at KG HQ.”

Describe the proudest moment in your career so far.
“Seeing people wearing our shoes is always a proud moment.”

Describe the best thing about your job.
“A big box of amazing samples coming back from our manufacturer looking exactly like you imagined them.”

What advice would you give to someone trying to break into your profession?
“A shoe design course is normally the best place to start. A total love for shoes, endless ideas, and great sketches will also help.”

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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
Do you have an office uniform, and what is it?
“Minimal with a statement accessory!”

Do have a favourite part of the office? Why do you love it?
“I love our design studio. It is a huge open space…with floor-to-ceiling windows. The light is great.”

Where do go to in the office or elsewhere to get inspiration?
“We travel all over for inspiration, but really, London has it all.”

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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
What have been the biggest lessons you've learned at Kurt Geiger that you want to share?
“I have learnt to be open to anything…fashion means we change our minds on a daily basis in our quest to get the best shoes possible.”
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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
Nothing makes a silk shirt stand out like a statement necklace!
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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
Esther Molyneux, visual creative coordinator

Describe your personal aesthetic in five words or less.
“Comfortable, casual, boot lover.”

How has working for Kurt Geiger influenced your style?
“Kurt Geiger has influenced my style. Whatever I wear has to work with a cool, black Kurt Geiger style. I like trying something unique and I love cutout boots at the moment.”

What was your last big purchase on the site?
Kurt Geiger London ‘Britton’ was my latest purchase. I wanted to buy a shoe that was iconic for the brand. The style is classic with an edge and it is a conversation starter to introduce people to what I do.”

What's the craziest/wildest things that happen at work?
“We often work overnight to roll out a window scheme and whilst it is a long evening, we have a lot of fun! From locking myself in a stockroom with no way out for a good hour, to drenching myself in water trying to apply a vinyl. Also, banter is essential to keep us going and I work with a wonderful team who have a great sense of humour.”

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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
What's your favourite in-office tradition?
“Fizzy drinks are a must. I have too many cans a day, the first can of the day is a Yoga Bunny for breakfast and Coke Zero follows soon after! Our team travels a lot so I also love catching up with everyone for a drink at least once a month.”

Describe the proudest moment in your career so far.
“I was lucky enough to be voted by members of Kurt Geiger to win an award for my work. It was lovely to see people appreciate all my efforts and my drive to achieve something for the brand.”

Describe the best thing about your job.
“The best thing about my job is being able to push my creativity to come up with great windows and developing schemes that I am proud of. I spend hours researching online and in town; some may think this is mundane, but I have always loved flicking through magazines since my teens trying to dream up ideas.”
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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
What have been the biggest lessons you've learned at Kurt Geiger that you want to share?
“Positive thinking and enthusiasm are essential; it gets you through the hardest projects and encourages other people to get on board and support you. Also, focusing on the end goal really pushes you to succeed and usually gets great results for the brand and the customer experience.”

What advice would you give to someone trying to break into your profession?
“Get as much work experience as possible. I did work placements and it really boosts your CV. I also studied visual merchandising at the Fashion Retail Academy that helped me get the job at Kurt Geiger. It is a really inspirational course.”

Do you have an office uniform, and if so, what is it?
“I spend a lot of time running around, so boots are a staple. I make sure I have a selection of Kurt Geiger heels under my desk for meetings. I usually wear shirts and jeans as they are practical for the job in dark colours, but I like shirts that are quirky with an unusual print or design.”

Do have a favourite part of the office? Why do you love it?
“My favourite part of the office is the canteen. It’s a great place to catch up with friends and have a good chinwag! It has a sense of community and a great way to meet new people.”

Where do go to in the office or elsewhere to get inspiration?
“Most of my inspiration comes from trend research at exhibitions or visiting other brands. However, the design studio is full of design inspiration and encourages me to understand up coming trends, materials, and shoe development that can be used in my window design.”
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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
Every office needs a three-foot-tall shoe sculpture!
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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
Asya Sezen, marketing manager

Describe your personal aesthetic in five words or less.
“Ladylike meets grunge.”

How has working for Kurt Geiger influenced your style?
“Being surrounded by shoes (as you can imagine) has helped my shoe wardrobe grow considerably! But, understanding the importance of well-made shoes has definitely been a big influence for me and how the finishing touches are just as important as the outfit itself!”

What was your last big purchase on the site?
“It was a piece from our accessories collection - the navy pony Kurt Geiger London 'Dash' rucksack, which has become a wardrobe staple of mine for winter.”

What's the craziest/wildest things that happen at work?
“We had taken a suite for an event at a very posh hotel and the next day had to dismantle a massive 'Alice in Wonderland' style production before noon. We were all a bit delirious with the late night and busy day before, and somehow ended up taking pictures in the bathtub with huge balloons and other cool props. The hotel manager was not impressed. But, we got the job done. It was more fun than crazy!”

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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
What's your favourite in-office tradition?
“Early pay day Friday finish. It is a real treat and makes the weekend feel that much longer!”

Describe the proudest moment in your career so far.
“I have worked at Kurt Geiger for five years. The company was much smaller when I started and we had just ten stores to focus on. Being part of the expansion and international growth whilst seeing our advertising campaigns and execution go from strength to strength has been amazing. Knowing that I have been able to contribute to the success and grow my career at the company alongside this is what I am most proud of.”

Describe the best thing about your job.
“The variety is something I definitely enjoy the most. As my role is all about building the brand identity and a consumer voice, I am involved in everything from seasonal ad campaigns, customer events, e-commerce newsletters to social media. It can be very creative and I love it when a project gets a great reaction from our customers.”

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Photographed by Claire Pepper.
What have been the biggest lessons you've learned at Kurt Geiger that you want to share?
“Stay calm and be positive. We can at times get last minute requests, which at Great Britton KG HQ are known as 'Challenge Anneka' tasks. Remaining calm and positive helps keep a 'can do' attitude rather than dwelling on the things working against you.”

What advice would you give to someone trying to break into your profession?
“Build relationships. Marketing is a very social role. You need to be able to work with lots of different people from agencies to publications — not to mention internal departments. Therefore, being personable and having good relationships are essential to help you get the job done.”

Do you have an office uniform, and what is it?
“I wouldn't say I have a uniform, but I like to wear boots A LOT. Come rain or shine, there is a boot for every occasion and they are also perfect for our unpredictable British weather!”

Do you have a favourite part of the office? Why do you love it?
“We have a big roundtable that floats on its own, away from the rest of the departments which we have named ‘PaM’ and adopted for (Press & Marketing). The team will sit round and brainstorm ideas for events, shoots, and social media and you always come away feeling inspired.”

Where do you go to in the office or elsewhere to get inspiration?
“You can find me buried in our magazine cupboards. We have a whole library of international titles and archive magazines that are a great source of inspiration for projects I am working on.”
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