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This Shoe Collection Couldn’t Be More Photogenic

Strike a balance between wearable and stunning.
This Shoe Collection Couldn’t Be More Photogenic
IMAGE Courtesy of Mark Bumgarner
Strike a balance between wearable and stunning.

Mark Bumgarner is expanding his footprint (pun intended) in the world of fashion: The womenswear designer recently released an Insta-worthy shoe collection that offers a little something for everyone. We were instantly smitten with the modern feminine details of the shoes—lush feathers, dazzling embellishments, and plush velvet—that match his signature ladylike designs.

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IMAGE Courtesy of Mark Bumgarner

Mark crafted his shoe line with the goal of striking a balance between wearable and show-stopping. Think shoes that can polish off any look—whether it’s a cocktail dress or a shirt-and-jeans combo—and furnish you with a standout moment.

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Read on as Mark shares more about his shoe collection.

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IMAGE Courtesy of Mark Bumgarner

When did you first realize you wanted to design shoes?

“For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to design and come up with shoes and accessories. I believe it’s a natural progression in building a brand. You try to create other products as part of the brand, not just clothing.”

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IMAGE Courtesy of Mark Bumgarner

What was it about women's shoes that inspired you?

“I think shoes complete the look of a woman in any situation. I like the idea of a woman in a white tee and washed jeans but in amazing shoes. Suddenly [the shoes] transform her look. That is the power of a good [pair of shoes].”

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IMAGE Courtesy of Mark Bumgarner

When starting a new collection, where do you most commonly derive inspiration?

“I like to look back at archive designs and think on how to modernize the look. I also get inspired [by] materials. I see raw leather and I instantly imagine how to utilize it. I've also been more observant as to what my clients wear to my studio. It's good to have a muse in mind, imaginary or real.”

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IMAGE Courtesy of Mark Bumgarner

What fascinates you right now and how is it feeding into your work?

“Social media is fascinating. It has completely changed the landscape of design, branding, and marketing. It is a challenging world with social media, but I see it as an opportunity more than anything.”

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IMAGE Courtesy of Mark Bumgarner

What criteria do you use when designing new shoes?

“Good design. Good material. Good heel to create the perfect balance. Some of my shoes, I carve the heel myself to create a signature look. I also make sure that comfort is considered in creating a heel.”

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IMAGE Courtesy of Mark Bumgarner

Are there any materials that you would like to explore further?

“Right now I’m just really concentrating on working with exotic leather. Sourcing the right texture and color is challenging, but the results come out beautiful. I’m also looking at embroidery in the next collections.”

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IMAGE Courtesy of Mark Bumgarner

How do you decide on colors for your shoes?

“A lot of factors: season, available material. Also, I try to listen to my customers—what colors they want to see in my collection. They are, after all, my  consumers.”

IMAGE Courtesy of Mark Bumgarner

Do you have any superstitious beliefs or self-imposed rules by which you live?

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“I’m not a very superstitious person. I think superstitions take away a lot of energy, and [they] hinder creativity. So I don't subscribe to it. I'm very practical.”

IMAGE Courtesy of Mark Bumgarner

Mark Bumgarner (the brand) is hugely successful with the editorial and fashion-forward celebrity set. Who, in your opinion, is the "Mark Bumgarner" woman and why?

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“She's someone who would look at her older pictures, maybe five to 10 years down the road, and would not regret her fashion choices. She rarely follows trends.  Also, she's someone who would rather be remembered than command attention in a crowd.”

IMAGE Courtesy of Mark Bumgarner

Since launching your shoe line, what have you learned about your customers?

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“That there is always space for good designer shoes. Even if we thought it’s a saturated market, there is space for everyone.”

IMAGE Courtesy of Mark Bumgarner

Of all the shoes that you’ve designed, which has given you the most satisfaction?

“I really like the Michelle heels and Tracy slides both in python leather. The multicolor snakeskin material came out gorgeous.”

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IMAGE Courtesy of Mark Bumgarner

What is one thing most people don't know/ would be surprised to know about you?

“I don’t think many people will remember but I used to be a Formula car driver.  I’m proud of my background—I was good at it.”

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IMAGE Courtesy of Mark Bumgarner

Any news or exciting collaborations on the horizon for 2018?

“I will be collaborating with a brand this year. This collaboration will be on a nationwide scale, so it’s something I look forward to.”

IMAGE Courtesy of Mark Bumgarner

The Mark Bumgarner women's shoes are available on Mark Bumgarner Studio and at Comme Çi in Power Plant Mall.

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