In the early days here at Stiletto Gal, you heard me discuss my love for all things Sole Society and their fabulous footwear. Little did I know that several posts later, I'd be featuring Nina Tooley, the VP of Marketing at Sole Society here on my blog! Based out of Culver City, California, today Nina's taking over and giving me the dish on what the hottest footwear trends for spring are, Sole Society's collaboration with actress Julianne Hough, and what five pairs of shoes every woman needs in her closet.
Hillary Gadsby: As the VP of marketing at Sole Society, what all does your job entail?
Nina Tooley: I've worked on everything from PR and communications to customer acquisition, email marketing, retention, social media, events, partnership marketing, new product launches, and our celebrity campaigns. If it's customer-facing or partner-facing, I'm involved somehow, which is what makes this job so exciting. It's pretty evenly divided between left brain and right brain so it's always challenging in a good way.
HG: What's the mission statement behind Sole Society and how does the site work?
NT: Sole Society is a chic new brand of high-quality, on trend women's shoes offered at surprisingly affordable prices. There is no retail markup for our product so our customers have access to $100 - $150 shoes for only $50-$70. We've recently opened our site up to everyone so you can shop all of our shoes without signing up. We encourage people to sign up though to get exclusive access to promotions and great content.
HG: How does one go about becoming a Sole Society Fashion Insider?
NT: We pick our Fashion Insiders very carefully. Some of the questions we ask during the evaluation process are - will they inspire our customers with their style? Can our customers relate to them? Are they a credible source of fashion and trend information? Will they participate and help drive traffic to our site?
HG: What are some of the hottest trends in footwear for spring?
NT: We're seeing heels starting to come down in height and fewer platforms. Splashes of neon and other inspiring colors like fuchsia and mint. Lots of embellishments. Smoking loafers and the menswear-inspired trend is still going strong too.
HG: And on the flip side, what is definitely on the "out" list for shoes?
NT: Heavy, clunky platform stilettos are out as the trend moves towards a more ladylike feel - although you'll still see lots of great platform wedges out there.
HG: The most recent line of shoes at Sole Society were designed by Julianne Hough! What was it like helping bring Julianne’s shoe collection to life?
NT: Working with Julianne was amazing. It was our first celebrity collaboration so we chose very carefully and Julianne couldn't be a more perfect fit for our brand. She's beautiful and glamorous but relatable and she's a rising star. Her "class with sass" style is totally aligned with what sells on our site. She was very involved in the design process too and put a lot of work into it, which is rare for a celebrity collaboration.
HG: If you were on a job interview and wanted to wow the interviewer with your footwear choice, what shoes would you recommend wearing?
NT: I would recommend going more conservative with the silhouette but with a pop of color, pattern, or embellishment to show that you have some personality. You don't want your outfit, shoes included, to be the focal point of the interview but you also don't want to be boring. The Sole Society styles I would recommend (depending on your outfit) would be the Kelly wedge in leopard, Keanna flat in black/crema, the Rory heel in Marine, or the Jeanette mid-heel in Hot Pepper.
HG: Fill in the blank: my favorite shoes are a pair of _____ because ________.
NT: Sole Society Addison booties because they go with EVERYTHING. Literally everything!
HG: What has been your biggest shoe splurge?
NT: My biggest shoe splurge recently was a pair of NDC Made by Hand, menswear-inspired oxfords at Barneys. I believe in investing in classics. But on an ongoing basis, I'm buying Sole Society embellished flats, booties, and slip-ons to round out my wardrobe. I have shoes under my desk, in the trunk of my car, and pouring out of my closet. I'm probably one of Sole Society's best customers!
HG: What are 5 pairs of shoes that every woman in business must have in her closet?
NT: It depends on how conservative your office is but I would recommend an embellished or printed flat (ex. Leopard, or with bows/studs), a basic versatile bootie in black or taupe, a pointy-toe mid heel in a fun color, black leather knee high riding boots, and a pair of classy open or close toe 3" heels.