FOOTWEAR DESIGNERS Keren Longkumer and Valerie Quant Zecchetto create effortless shoes as cool as the designers themselves. Their motto: timeless and chic. These are shoes you can’t wait to wear.
THE THING ABOUT SHOES is that you can never seem to have enough. Enough sweaters, sure. Enough silk button up blouses—one can definitely have enough. But shoes? There seems to be an endless amount of room for new shoes. Such is the case for designers Keren Longkumer and Valerie Quant Zecchetto, who launched their shoe label LoQ a year ago after meeting at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. Instant kismet occurred, resulting in a joint school project and afterwards, the creation of a business: LoQ. “It was a long conversation that started five years ago,” says Zecchetto. “It got to the point after school when Keren went back to India that we decided to find a factory in Spain and everything kind of lined up.” Longkumer, who left her native India to study in Los Angeles, has since relocated back to her home country, running LoQ with Zecchetto through Skype chats, plenty of emails, and the occasional visit. “It’s a totally different dynamic than a lot of people have working with partners, so it’s this romantic thing where we meet up in Spain to make shoes or we’re talking via Skype,” says Zecchetto. “It’s unusual, but it’s also what makes us unique as a company. It’s the perfect dynamic for creativity because she’s preparing things in a totally different world in India and I’m here in Venice, California. So we bring different things to the table.”
“I THINK TIMELESS AND CHIC IS A BIG PHRASE THAT WE USE.”
Produced in Spain, the duo’s focus is redefining classics for the modern day woman. This they achieve by offering up practical, low chunky heels that jut out just a tiny bit at the back, creating an interesting detail. Some versions are a simple glove shape, others have laces criss crossed over the foot and tied up around the ankle. One of the standouts is an ankle boot finished in colored and patent leather and suede, with a zip that runs from the toe all the way up the front of the boot. Each shape seems like a piece you may have seen somewhere on your travels, but never with the amount of craftsmanship or original design that LoQ offers.
“MY MOM WAS SO STYLISH GROWING UP. SHE HAD ALL THESE LUXURY PIECES AND I WAS LIKE, JEEZ, I HAVE TO HAVE THOSE.”
Architecture and design are heavy inspirations, and the pair cite architects Rudolph Schindler, Alvar Aalto, and Luis Barragan as favorites. Childhood also plays a part—that elusive time when so many dreams are born. “My mom was so stylish growing up,” says Zecchetto. “She had all these luxury pieces and I was like jeez, I have to have those! I have my idols, but I think it was vintage shopping and finding great pieces in unexpected places that really piqued my interest in fashion.” Longkumer concurs. “My mom had the biggest collection of high heels and I would always look at them and think, I want to wear them!” Creating a shoe that transcends time and season is the most important thing for the duo, who also include simple handbags in their line. “I think timeless and chic is a big phrase that we use,” says Zecchetto. “We want our customer to feel like she’s wearing something that defines her style, and that’s really going to bring her outfit together.”
Valerie: Always on rotation: Almond butter on seeded toast or greek yogurt with honey seeds and nuts served with black coffee, of course.
Keren: Black Coffee/ Sage Tea, toast with avocado/ butter and jam and a full boiled egg.
2. What's the last thing you dreamed about?
Valerie: Shoes, haha, my mind never turns off.
Keren: I’m a very intuitive person, so my dreams mean a lot to me. Everyday I wake up and spend at least five minutes analyzing my dream. The last dream was about my mum and dad, I think I just really miss them.
3. If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Valerie: Teleporting to a far away place.
Keren: To teleport from one location to another.
4. What is your spirit animal?
5. What is your greatest creative achievement?
Valerie: At this point in life, it would be creating LoQ.
Keren: It hasn’t happened yet.
6. If you could swap lives with anyone in history (alive or dead), who would it be?
Valerie: I wouldn’t.
Keren: Rene Redzepi
7. What is your favorite song?
Valerie: It’s a toss up between Charles Bradley “Strictly Reserved for You” and “Little Dreamer” by Future Islands.
Keren: Eva Cassidy “Fields of Gold”
8. Favorite artists?
Valerie: Hans Arp, Sharon Etgar, Robert Motherwell, Henry Matisse.
Keren: Constantin Brâncuși, Jean Arp
9. If you could wear one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Valerie: My wedding and engagement ring designed by my husband. Gauzy
button down shirts tucked into wide leg trousers and a pair of our new toe ring Elda mules.
Keren: White shirt + black culottes + our black Xavi tube strap sandals.
10. Any hidden talents?
Valerie: I’m guilty of imitating people’s quirks, faces and voices.
Keren: I can cook.