Jessie's Girl

Handbag by Andi Teran
To go from shoe-gazer to trailblazer is no small feat. For Jessie Randall, ogling her grandmother Harriet's impressive collection of diminutive shoes catalyzed a preoccupation with fashion that would eventually become one of the most buzzed about entities in the pantheon of women's accessories.
After moving to New York directly out of college, Jessie met future husband and art director Brian Murphy on a work sponsored cruise around the city. By encouraging her to follow her heart by pursuing design, she went on to study at both Parsons and F.I.T. before building up her skills under the tutelage of Katayone Adeli and, later, in the accessories department at Gap, Inc.
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Constantly hunting for—and rarely finding—the perfect pair of shoes, Jessie and Brian set out together to create Loeffler Randall to solve the same problem for the stiletto-challenged everywhere. Debuting in Fall/Winter 2005, the first pump—in a collection that now offers many "signature styles" of boots and flats—was named Harriet in a loving tribute to understated elegance. A nomination for a Swarovski Perry Ellis CFDA award followed in the spring, as did an accumulation of accounts worldwide and a new handbag line on the horizon for fall 2006. Refinery29's Andi Teran recently caught up with president and creative director Jessie Randall and discovered why Loeffler Randall has gone from one-to-watch to here-to-stay.
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Spring/Summer '06
How was the company name born?
Loeffler is my middle name. It is a family name on my mother's side. Randall is my last name. Brian liked the way it looked letter-pressed on our wedding invitations "Jessica Loeffler Randall," and we thought it would look beautiful in a shoe.
Does your workspace influence a collection?
Our office is in DUMBO. The most important elements about the space for me are the amount of sunshine we get through the huge windows and the large tack-up boards that run all along the wall, which are great as inspiration boards. Also being right by the park and the water, it's nice to have a place to take a break from sketching to go on a walk with my dog, Romeo.
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Tell us about the Spring 2006 line.
As always, I was inspired by what I wanted to have in my own closet and by the mood of the brand, "our girl," etc. I guess the song that I was listening to most while designing that collection was "Over My Head" by Fleetwood Mac—that was the mood I was in. There was a mod influence with our flat boots—in particular the Matilde, a bone-colored embossed anaconda tall flat boot. I wanted wood platforms, and I love the look of a black upper on a brown wood bottom as on Freya. Weaving was also important and seemed very summery and modern.
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We psyched about the fall collection. Which are your favorite elements?
I'm really excited about our new ballerina flat with a tiny wedge heel. My favorite shoe is probably the Hedda, a patent or metallic ballerina with a matte cotton twill bow at the back. Our signature boots are back in new, richer shades like midnight blue. Another exciting development is the launch of our handbag collection. Our woven Hattie satchel in brown deerskin is my favorite. It is so soft!
Loeffler Randall is available in New York at and Steven Alan, 103 Franklin Street, 212-343-0692 and in Los Angeles at Satine, 8117 W 3rd Street, 323-655-2142.
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Fall/Winter '06/'07
From a childhood fascination with her grandmother's shoe collection to a chance meeting on a boat tour around Manhattan, Jessie Randall has transformed a passion for shoes into a covetable new footwear label.
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