Architects tend to think of things from the ground up when designing a building. The foundations need to be strong and the structure reinforced or everything else will crumble. The same can be applied when choosing an outfit, if the shoe fits, the rest will follow.
Melbourne architect Clare Cousins adopts the ground up theory in both her work and her wardrobe. She has run her award winning practice, Clare Cousins Architects, for over a decade and is a busy mother of two. Clare’s day is non-stop. She’s always on the go: in the office, the car, site meetings, school picks ups, you name it. People like Clare have the potential to break Fitbits with their jam-packed days of activity, and it’s when you have the ability to clock the pedometer that a reliable shoe collection becomes a necessity. This architect’s collection is practical with personality and a step in the right direction if you ask us.
What was the first pair of shoes you remember owning as a kid, and why did you love them?
A pair of black patent leather Mary Janes to go with the hand smocked dress my mum made. They were my shiny ‘good’ shoes reserved for parties and special occasions.
What pair of shoes are you still lusting over from childhood?
As a child in the shoe department, I always wanted colourful high tops to wear with a balloon skirt to emulate Cyndi Lauper or Madonna, in the toy department I always wanted a Cabbage Patch doll. I never got either! Moving into my teenage years I wanted a pairs of Vans as I was all about the skater boys and Nirvana.
What do you think your current shoe collection says about you?
Practical with personality.
What is your all time favourite pair of shoes?
It has to be a pair of Marni platform sandals I bought at an outlet mall near Palm Springs a few years ago. They’re black and gold, and have a Geisha sensibility about them that I love.
The age-old debate: Heels or flats?
I mostly wear flats for comfort and speed. Heels slow me down and don’t cut it on a construction site!
What has been your biggest splurge on shoes?
Until recently I never really had a big splurge on shoes, well, this was the case until last weekend. I bought some McQ Alexander McQueen platform loafers that tipped the scales.
Where’s the best place your shoes have taken you?
Dancing in Cuba on our honeymoon.
Be honest, do you keep your shoes in or out of the box?
They all exist out of the box and in my shoe cupboard. I’d forget what I own if they lived in their boxes. I often start with my shoes when deciding what to wear each day so it’s helpful to have them lined up next to each other.
What type of shoe would you never been seen in?
White stilettos as they rarely evoke a sense of quality.
What’s your biggest shoe regret?
Brown gladiator sandals from about 10 years ago, the ones with the long laces designed to snake up you shin to your knees. I never wore them. Scarily the maxi-gladiator shoe style made another come back last summer. I saw ladies wearing them in Mykonos on our holiday last month, and that’s where they should stay, on a Greek island!
What attracted you to habbot’s Seal style and made you add it to your shoe collection?
I wear flat lace ups all the time for comfort and speed, so Seal was an easy choice. I have a thing for pointy toes at the moment as well!
Where are you planning to wear your habbots this Spring?
I’m sure they’ll become a work staple but also handy on the weekend with denim.
Your verdict on ugg boots out in public, yes or no?
Never in public, not even on a quick dash to the supermarket!
How many pairs of shoes are too many?
As long as you wear them all there can never be too many.
Finish this sentence: Whatever happened to the Old Lady who lived in a shoe...
I don’t know what to say, she’s so mean and should have been introduced to the concept of contraception! That many children would tip me over as well.
To find out more about Clare Cousins Architects and their recent architectural projects visit their website here, or follow Clare on Instagram here.
Clare chooses habbot’s Seal style in black to get her from A to B this spring.
Words | Lisa Marie Corso
Photography | Amelia Stanwix