Are you a trendsetter, a shoe collector, or simply a women looking for that jaw dropping, people stop in your tracks, shoe. Either way, DUET is definitely the place to go.
DUET, the new Markio Designs Inc. venture, located in Sherway Gardens Mall, opened their doors on October 3nd and is nothing less than a booming success. Leeor Wild, Creative Director and Kaila Campisi, Buyer & Brand Manager take you behind the scenes on the creation, inspiration and collection of DUET.
What is the story behind DUET shoes?
KC: DUET is a brand new venture from Markio Designs Inc., who operate DAVIDS & Capezio. Recognizing that something new was happening in footwear design alongside the digital revolution, DUET merged as a way to bring together a new wave of global contemporary designers in a single curated collection that had not been done yet in Canada.
What differentiates DUET from any other footwear store?
KC: DUET brings visionary, like-minded brands together in one curated collection from a new point of view. Our vision and brand foundations touch all aspects of DUET including store design, social communication, seasonal collection and brand imagery. We are directional and aspirational in the present but always ahead of what is to come. Not to brag, but above all – we do have an unbelievable collection out there.
DUET also puts strong emphasis and attention on our web store. We look at the e-commerce site not just as another tab open on your browser, but a full portrait of who we are and what we are about. It is also one of the only sites in Canada that brings together all these contemporary brands into a single curated collection. DUET online is a digital boutique that ships across Canada.
Who is the DUET girl?
The DUET girl is a cool, creative and cultured woman. She is empowered, confident, and trend-setting, always maintaining an air of mystery. She enjoys travel, art, design, architecture, photography, trying new restaurants and starting trends that separate her from the crowd.
Were there any major obstacles in the creation of DUET?
KC: We had a vision for DUET and a desire to carry a specific roster of the top contemporary designers – but when you are the new kid on the block and your doors have not yet open, it was tough to get brands to jump on to just a moodboard and mission statement. But we were persistent and it worked out exactly as we had hoped.
How did you define the aesthetic?
LW: DUET’s visual identity combines influences from art, design, architecture, and pop culture (namely some good old fashioned ’90s imagery), which we’ve tried to fuse into our editorials and share on our Instagram.
What were the tools you used to build the brand?
LW: Many mood boards. As per the photos, we strive for a balance between complexity and simplicity, minimalism and intricacy, and tend to lean towards very textural, warm feels – especially for fall and winter.
With just over a month open, what is the greatest success and what are you most proud of?
KC: Customers are recognizing the new point of view of DUET – in our collection, store design, staff, brand aesthetic, and social feed. Our current designers are so excited and supportive of DUET, and new brands are coming to us wanting to be on the self.
What’s next? What can readers expect from the upcoming season?
KC: New designers! We are so excited to welcome Tibi, Rachel Comey, Derek Lam, Ancient Greek Sandals, Sol Sana, See by Chloe, Jill Sander Navy, Rebecca Minkoff, Schutz, Joie and more to DUET.
LW: Our upcoming Lookbook was shot at a really impressive modern home out in the country – look forward to some Hitchcock vibes. Beyond this, we will begin to involve more people in the DUET brand – people we admire in fields of fashion, design, and art. The first few months of DUET’s existence have been about creating a brand and a voice, now we’ll look to invite friends and fans to be a part of the fam.
Did you get educated in this field?
KC: I have a Bachelor of Arts from UofT and Retail Buying Certificate from George Brown.
LW: I have a Bachelor of Design from OCAD U
What were some obstacles that were difficult to overcome to get to where you are now?
KC: Age. Sometimes when you are in your 20’s and everyone around you is often a good 10 years older, it is hard to feel that you are playing on the same turf. But, I have come to believe that it is not age, but your willingness to learn, that makes you wise beyond your years.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
KC: People watching in foreign countries such as New York and Paris, magazines, ie. ID Magazine, photography and my talented friends.
LW: Various art books I’ve collected over the years, magazines from other countries in languages I can’t even read, photography from decades past.
What gives you your YES?
KC: Travel and Bar Raval with good friends.
LW: Constant travel and the excitement of getting a roll of film developed.
Follow along with Kaila Campisi, Buyer & Brand Manager DUET @kailacampisi + Leeor Wild, Creative Director DUET @leeorwild.
To get your fall shoe closet in tip-top shape, DUET is giving all yes supply co. readers 20% off your first purchase on DUET SHOES Online.
20% off your first online purchase at DUET using code YESDUET20.
Valid until December 1st, 2015 on regular priced merchandise only and cannot be combined with any other offer. Must fill out a complete profile to redeem the discount. One code redemption per customer.
Interview by Marlayna Campisi
In-store images by Marlayna Campisi || Lookbook Images provided by Duet
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