MN: Celebrity-endorsed fashion lines come a dime a dozen. Is there anything about your CAT footwear collaboration that separates you from the pack?
SL: [Most people] have never seen a Bajan design boots before. So, that alone is special. But it’s really the message behind our line and what we stand for that separates SHONTELLE x CAT from most other collaborations. I’ve always been a big sister and a natural overachiever, but also I was bigger and taller than most of my friends growing up. Naturally many of them looked up to me and I fell into a very nurturing, supportive sort of role.
I genuinely felt connected to the brand as well as the message they were representing. I also have so many problems finding comfy shoes that I can feel hot in but I can wear all day and night. So the CAT team and I got to work, to design a hot, stylish, line of boots that would appeal to the toughest chicks anywhere in the world as well as the most glamorous ladies without compromising the classic characteristics of the CAT boots.
MN: How has your culture impacted your music and overall aesthetic?
SL: You can hear and feel Barbados in most of my music through my melodies and some words or phrases I might use or even the rhythms. I was also quite the beach girl and I surfed and swam a lot. Almost everything I wear or do is somehow, even if in small ways, inspired by the ocean. Maybe the most obvious feeling of Barbados you have experienced to date is on Rihanna’s song, “Man Down,” a single I co-wrote. But you also hear it in many of my own songs especially on my first album, “Shontelligence.”
MN: You’ve incorporated the Trident from the Barbadian flag into your personal logo. Will we be seeing any glimpses of this in your CAT collection?
SL: The trident represents my heritage. It is actually a broken trident (the staff is short because it has been broken). It is prominent on our flag and is our national symbol of independence. I apply that to my life. I feel as though I have had to embrace and conquer the seemingly impossible and find my own independence. This collaboration is an expression of that desire and of all my hopes and dreams.
MN: What is your design philosophy?
SL: Comfort is confidence. Never compromise it…
MN: How involved were you in the whole design process?
SL: I was very involved. From choosing the colors, materials, overall designs and especially the logo, charms and lining monogram. But I can’t take all the credit. The design team at CAT is beyond talented and they are so progressive and innovative. I feel like I’m working with the Madonna of boots!
MN: Did you have any previous design/fashion industry experience before this collaboration?
SL: Not on a mass scale, but I have [been a model and muse] to a few designers and I’ve sat in many front rows during New York Fashion Week. I also have a close relationship with the CFDA and I’ve walked many runways for various charities and brands as well.
MN: How does the collection reflect your personal style?
SL: Fashion is so important in music. I needed to design a boot that I could perform in comfortably, go shopping in, wear to a picnic, travel in, wear to dinner or to the club. These boots/shoes must also appeal to my fans so they want to wear them too!
My lifestyle sometimes requires me to work the most ungodly hours yet I must remain fabulous! So if I’m going to be rocking CAT boots then of course they must reflect my personal style. I love high heels and tall boots (something never done by CAT before) and bright colors. I also have a thing for cool buckles and detail. All of this is reflected in my line.