Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: Kathryn Marino

Kathryn Marino, Founder of Hauteoc Inc.

Since I'm off to OC Fashion Week℠ on March 19th, I thought we'd spend today walking in the heels of the founder of Hauteoc Inc. sponsor of OC Fashion Week℠, and member of the OC Fashion Association, Kathryn Marino! Based out of Orange County, today Kathryn tells all about what to expect during OC Fashion Week, the hottest trends in fashion and footwear for spring, and why she'd do her biggest shoe splurge all over again.

Hillary Gadsby: Tell me a little about OC Fashion Week℠ and what we can expect in fashion shows, panelists, and keynote speakers.

Kathryn Marino: This year OC Fashion Week℠ takes places at key fashionable "hautespots." As a thriving metropolitan yacht-loving coastal community, this year-round Monaco-like weather allows the OC to enjoy the seaside surroundings which is what truly makes this the jewel of the California Riviera. Orange County Fashion Week takes great pride in recognizing the emerging local talent and this year has given them their own spotlight respectively complimenting their target audience goals with consumer genres.

Day 1 is Sugar Rush, a day for the "Fashionista" and its run into three different events throughout the day, each a different tribute to a new OC Fashion Week program.  Our Sugar Rush Initiative was developed to recognize emerging jewelers as a valued industry in retail for its refined craftsmanship and artistry, and we placed this on the forefront of our kick off because we felt that it was necessary to recognize as a major player in the retail industry amongst all the great apparel. We have a panel of jewelers like KDLuxe Jewelry whose "Carried Away" travel gems have perfected the art of flying without motion sickness with a special metal element -fascinating, and also feature Senhoa.org a cause-based jewelry foundation dedicated to funding against human trafficking and whose supermodel spokeswoman Coco Rocha had made a significant contribution by designing a line, and so much more.

On Day 2, our Fashionista Now Boarding event highlights our favorite bloggers (including Stilettogal!) alongside Monica Otera from Expresso & Stilettos, and Genevieve Chapell from Queen of Cars who leads our new program on a first ladies super car ride and drive to officially launch our all-new corporate social responsibility program. As the week continues, there will be a climactic event held at the iconic restaurant House of An's ANQi by Crustacean, where a gleaming dining table by day turns into a catwalk by night and hosts avant-garde designers who fly in from John Wayne Airport to the runway - a riveting show of color, fascination and more!

HG: How do you decide who to feature in the fashion shows or as speakers?

KM: The fashion shows are decided by the OC Fashion Association team based on candidates and a selection process by niche and/or specialty and distinctive qualities unique to various audiences.  For jewelry, each designer has a compelling story – their audiences are stylists, fashion bloggers and press and those whom are experts and attentive to fashion detail respectively, who's opinions  and valued reviews magnify our efforts spotlight designers.

For menswear, we synced in the world of retail and technology because the market is what we call “fashioned for the future.” We recognized the multitude of new jobs in digital retail that have flourished in the past years, as social networking and technologies have emeged from tech accessories down to the type of digital design and fabric of sustainable clothing. One of the designers featured this year, Troy Lee Designs,  is a master of  building performance racing helmets and transformed his work into the retail consumer market with a celebrity designer wear featuring Peter Fonda and Steve McQueen. You’ll find Troy Lee designs at Neiman Marcus and also Kitson. It will be great to see his work flourish.

HG: What are some of the hottest trends in fashion and footwear for spring we can expect to see on the runway?  

KM: For footwear, florals and matching handbags turn my eye, and admittedly, I have a crush on Gianmarco Lorenzi in Italy because the shoes have a swirl of fun - flirty yet artistic, it's the four inch heel that you won't mind wearing a bit. For fashion, I love all the colorful knitwear out, also flirty light, clean and airy, a playful and coveted look of comfort.

HG: What has been your biggest shoe splurge?

KM: Roberto Cavalli shoes - guilt free and yes, I would do it again!

HG: Who are you most excited to see take the runway this season?

KM: I'm very excited to Luis Valenzuela fresh from the runway at New York Fashion Week! He has received great reviews for his avant-garde fashion "Art to Wear" designs in ethical and new sustainable fashion and had also received recognition for building the first EcoArtFashion Week.

For more information on OC Fashion Week℠, visit their official website and connect on their Twitter and Facebook pages!