To The Point with Fergie
The singer-songwriter-designer sat down with The Point to discuss the art and inspiration behind her latest shoe collections.
Fergie is best known for her vast catalogue of music and impressive stage shows that have garnered her legions of fans over the course of a more than twenty-year music career. For almost half that time, she has brought her artistic sensibility to her shoe collection Fergalicious, and more recently, the higher end Fergie Footwear line, both available exclusively at Hudson’s Bay. The Point was thrilled to sit down with Fergie and get a glimpse into her creative process and style ideas.
What is the origin story of your career as a shoe designer?
I was a huge fan of Sex and the City and I always wanted to be Carrie Bradshaw. I’ve always had a thing for shoes and, luckily, when my album The Dutchess came out, I was offered a partnership with Caleres, and, for me, it was like a dream. I dove in and learned so much from meeting with them. It’s now going on ten years, so it obviously was a good match. I also just wanted to have a lot of shoes in my closet [laughs]!
How do you want your customers to feel when they put on a pair of your shoes?
I want them to trust in Fergie Footwear and know that I’m looking out for them. I go to the meetings. I had the design team actually measure the balls of my feet because, at first, the shoes weren’t being made big enough. I need to be comfortable because I have to wear heels for a long time for my job.
So, it’s really important to me that my customers are able to feel comfortable and feel like their best self living their best life. When you put on a pair of Fergie Footwear shoes, I want you to feel like you can walk your path with pride, confidence, style and sass — whatever your personality! You can walk that runway that is your life and your path.
I use the world as my runway, all with a wink of course. I just rewatched Pose — the entire series — and I feel like nowadays you can make everywhere your runway, even the streets of Toronto. Walking down the street, feel yourself in some gorgeous pumps! Find your inner goddess. There is a beautiful slope on the Acapella, which is new for this season.
Speaking of wearing heels for your job, would you say there are some styles in the collections that are inspired by your experience performing on stage?
I do wear my shoes on stage. A thicker heel is better for stage, and something that’s more caged, like the Lucia, because you’ve got that support around your ankle and that thicker heel. You never know if there’s a rivet on the stage. Either way, you’re not missing a step. And it’s always good to have a little height!
But lower heels are great for me now because I’m a mom. I’m running around, going to different things, picking up my son Axl, taking dance class, going off to dinner. I love to wear a lot of shoes day to night. As women, we’re doing it all: taking on more responsibilities, more power and we don’t have time to lug a big suitcase in our car to do five changes. We’ve gotta make that ‘ish happen.
Do you have a favourite transitional shoe? Something that could work from running errands to dinner?
It depends on how high a heel you want to commit to. Pick a heel height that is appropriate for the event. There’s a bootie called the Wyatt, and it’s got little pinhead studs — a little hardware flare — and cut-outs so you can go from day and then pop up your jewellery to speak to the hardware at night. I always say, “Put on more jewels for nighttime, honey.”
Who are your style icons? Are you your own muse?
I got to work with my fashion icon, Miss Sophia Loren. She always wears a corset and a scarf, and I take notes. She’s always elegant but never afraid to make a bold statement, be it with a scarf or broach or her iconic eyeliner.
But I don’t know where inspiration comes from. I think everyone is their own muse because when you get into your creative zone, it’s all the information that you’ve seen throughout your life, and that’s the mix that makes up you and your special sauce. I’m getting into trousers lately, finding different shapes. I love the Lulu with a palazzo pant or a nice short trouser.
Do you find inspiration for your designs when you travel?
Absolutely. I’ve been so blessed to be able to travel so many places in my life, whether it be for touring or personal getaways. I just got back from the Bahamas this year with Axl, but aside from vacation, I’ve been to Toronto a gazillion times and have been all over the world. The Belize is a great vacation wedge. I love the simplicity of it. And with the Viola wedge, you get a pop of the colour of the moment, which is fun to play with.
I see life with an artist’s eye. I don’t know any other way to see life. I don’t just see the shoe and the leather, I see where I’m going: “Oh my gosh, I’m going to Coachella in this boot!” I’m seeing the whole look and the scarves. I’m seeing that shoe in the midst of everything.
Because we’re all trying to get that Instagram shot, aren’t we? I can’t help thinking that way. I think everyone’s inner artist comes out on their Instagram because they’re looking at backgrounds and everything in the picture. It’s the same with music. If I’m writing a song, I can see the video and the way I’m going to perform it. It’s all-encompassing.
Do you have any fond memories or funny stories from any of your visits to Canada?
I’ve had so many experiences in Canada. So many different tours, shows and fun times. From eating poutine in Montreal (I learned what that was, and it’s dangerous) to shopping for vinyl in Toronto — it was so cool! I feel like a lot of people in Toronto are fashion forward. I’m always inspired by what people are wearing and I’m always taking note. I feel like Toronto’s got that energy.
Photography by David Pike.