TALKING SHOES with designer Joe Ponce

Designer Joe Ponce sits down with at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas during the unveiling of the Ponce Collection.

How high is too high when it comes to women’s shoes? It depends on your customer. Lady Gaga is testing the outer limits of how high you can go. Some designers won’t go past 4 inches. I go up to 5 inches, but that’s as high as I want to take my designs. After that, the air starts to get really thin. If I do a high heel, I counter balance with a high platform.

Comfort or Cripple? Never cripple, never sacrifice your health for style. These days, a girl can have it all…style and comfort.

What is the biggest mistake women make when buying shoes? Not buying comfortable shoes. The difference between guys and girls is that guys won’t buy a shoe that isn’t comfortable. Also, buying shoes that are too trendy. Either the color of the season or a style that is too defined or out there. You can wear classics for years.

What are the pros and cons of the shoe industries’ changing landscape? Two things I find troubling are because of the global recession, it’s made everyone feel like they have to pull everything down market. Now, shoes are all starting to look more of the same. Pros are online, more people that don’t have access to luxury have access now to more creative shoes and the ability to buy them no matter where you live.

What is your favorite part of the process of having your own line? I love the creation process all the way from the beginning to the end. But, the most endearing part is standing somewhere and seeing a girl that has spent her own money take your shoes and make an amazing outfit.

Photo by James Huang

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