In this week's Dallas Observer we profile 30 of the metro area's most interesting characters, with new portraits of each from local photographer Stanton Stephens. See the entire Dallas Observer People Issue here.
Angela Scott has always drawn inspiration from men's fashion, so when she moved to Dallas from her native California, the cowboy fashion of the South naturally found its way into her designs. You can see it in her spring/summer line -- "rooted in the heartland of Texas" -- where several of the shoes bear a toebug, the decorative stitch-work on the toe of a cowboy boot. It's a flourish that might seem out of place on a pair of towering heels, but Scott gracefully combines the rugged look into her modern designs.
Then there's the craftsmanship: All of Scott's whimsical kicks are bench-made, meaning each shoe is individually handcrafted from start to finish. It's a quality she attributes to her fashionable Italian grandfather.
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"He and I connected when I was young," says Scott, 35. "He was the basis for my style." Grandpa, a furniture designer, taught her about craftsmanship at a young age. "All his shoes were handmade; he'd tell me to 'buy authentic to any region you go,'" Scott says. "He helped me understand the principle that it's far better to own one nice thing than 10 mediocre things." She looked up to him so much that she emulated his style as early as elementary school. "I wanted to look like a little grandpa, with my bow tie and loafers." Scott's career in footwear started in college, when she landed a job at UGG. After a brief detour in asset management, she launched her collection, The Office of Angela Scott, in 2011. Her shoes now line the shelves of department stores and boutiques from Neiman Marcus to Saks Fifth Avenue to Tomorrowland in Tokyo. She opened her first studio and boutique last year in Victory Park.
Scott is now finishing her spring 2014 collection, in which she goes back home for inspiration. "My brothers were snowboarders and skateboarders," she says. "I would tag along." That "'80s punk" aesthetic will influence her new line, with a color palette heavy in grays, pale blues and muted pinks.
She's working on a line of handbags, too. But first she'll turn her attention to what got her started in the first place: men's shoes.
"I'd be at trunk shows in Japan, and men would try to squeeze their feet into women's shoes," Scott says. So in the fall of 2014, she will offer her take on men's footwear. Grandpa's bow ties shouldn't be far behind.