Amidst the waves of Sperrys, pastel shorts, Lily Pulitzer, seersucker and the sea of Nantucket Red and monograms, a new, preppy flip-flop has recently taken the East Coast by storm.
Cape Cod Shoe Supply is a new company that provides just the type of style students at the University tend to sport, potentially because the company is staffed with a few University alumni.
Additionally, both the products and overall vibes of the company give off the beach atmosphere that everyone hopes to cling to in these last fading days of summer. Just because vacation is over does not mean the style of it has to end.
This quintessential Villanova-style shoe originally sprung from the mind of designer Juliette Bench, who has spent more than 10 years designing footwear and accessories. Having worked for multiple iconic American brands, Bench describes design as “like life… best when spirited, fresh and bright.”
True to this, her designs indeed mirror her own life and character, as Kate Spade herself has commented that , “Juliette’s designs are like her personality: happy, bright and fun.”
Bench began her career in fashion by working at Kate Spade, and then went on to design shoes for Tommy Hilfiger and Sperry before leaving to pursue her own line. As the company website states, the inspiration for this line hit Bench as she was leaving “another perfect weekend on Cape Cod” to rush back to New York and leave on another business trip.
As she was doing so, she sat holding her sailor’s knot bracelet, lamenting over what it really means.
“It’s vacation,” Bench cites on the website’s about us page. “It’s adventures and silliness. It’s sailing and swimming and getting dirty and having fun. It’s barbeques and clambakes and friends and cousins. It’s popped collars, boat shoes, and too much seersucker. It’s our childhood. It’s the beach. It’s summer.”
This realization is what led Bench to form a company about uncomplicated styling with youthful spirit.
The shoe she created is a simple flip flop, yet much thought goes into every component of the design.
“The twice-washed, 100 percent cotton rope is hand braided and stitched, and the leather piece will naturally burnish over time,” Cape Cod Shoe Supply’s website states.
This design embodies the perfect beach weekend that Bench knows everyone loves to experience and remember. Her hope is that individuals enjoy wearing these shoes through all of their summer adventures, as that is what the shoes are a representation of to her. After all, the company motto does state “Summer Lives Here.”
However, what makes Cape Cod Shoe Supply of particular interest to University students, minus the fact that it embodies the preppy, beachy style so many here seem to love, is that the only other two employees of the company are University grads.
Lynda Fisher, class of ’95, holds the position of VP of Sales for Cape Cod Shoe Supply. Fisher had previously worked with Bench for Kate Spade, where she worked wholesale and Bench was a junior shoe designer. Before that, Fisher worked for Donna Karen. Now in charge of all of the accounts at CCSS, Fisher works on getting the company picked up by new stores in different locations around the area.
Essentially, many stores contact Fisher about bringing CCSS to their location, which allows Fisher to evaluate the store and see if they are a good fit for the company.
Fisher is actually the one who brought Katie Meurer, class of ’13, into the company. Fisher, a member of the sorority Delta Delta Delta during her time at the University, met and remained close with Meurer’s aunt, leading Meurer to know Fisher very well growing up. Hearing some buzz about CCSS, Meurer reached out to Fisher after graduating last Spring.
“Lynda took me to a trunk show with her and Juliette,” Meurer says, describing the way she attained her job. “I fell in love with the brand and they offered me a position.”
Meurer currently works as the Social Media Director/Sales Assistant for CCSS.
These two grads, along with Bench, are currently working their way up and down the East Coast with their company, finding much success along the way. Bench and Fisher recently spent the week in Orlando participating in the Surf Expo, where CCSS gained over 30 new accounts and debuted its Spring 2014 line. Additionally, the company has gained much press lately, proving that the brand is definitely considered up and coming.