12.31.2013 / Blog Posts Fashion
When we first interviewed Kathleen and Kristina Cuce' in September 2011, they were transitioning from small town Virginia Beach natives to major NFL licensees after the success of their Cuce' Shoes empire they founded in 2010.
With an objective to bring fashionable and comfortable fan footwear to female consumers, these two savvy business women now work with all four major sporting leagues and have moved beyond the realm of footwear.
From sequined tops to platform wedges, these girls are perhaps single-handedly changing the way we think of "gameday style" - and maybe even the term "sports professional."
WOW sat down with the Cuce' sisters once again to get their perspective as business women in the sports industry, animal advocates, and of course Redskins fans!
Has the NFL Apparel landscape changed at all?
We can’t believe how quickly our company has grown and how much has changed in regards to Fashion and Football! The female fan base is growing and consumer product sales for women have surpassed that of male shoppers. The League is taking notice of these rapidly growing numbers and are excited and embracing it by introducing new products for female fans across the board. The NFL even has a movement called the “FIT FOR YOU” campaign that showcases all types of women rocking team inspired fashions. This is a great year to be a female fan and we think it will just keep getting better. The idea is to dress women for the game, but every day in between as well.
Do you have prior fashion experience?
That is typically the first question everyone asks us when we are being interviewed. Funny enough, we did NOT have any experience in the fashion world before starting Cuce’ Shoes. Believe it or not, the idea for Cuce’ Shoes came more out of necessity then experience. We are huge football fans and were sick of dressing head to knee in team inspired ensembles. We wanted to finish off the game day look with fan footwear and when we went shopping for the product, we found that it did not exist. An idea was born and we took it straight to the League and luckily, they loved the idea and gave us the green light. Designing comes naturally to us since we are female and we are fans. We watch the fashion market and see what kinds of trends are on the rise or fall and go from there. We try and mix fashion with function as well. Now that we have been designing for 4 years now, we are getting a little more creative with the collections. Stay tuned for 2014…we have some more high fashion pieces that are not necessarily for game day, but definitely head turners for every other day of the week.
What are each of your favorite Cuce' pieces?
Fan footwear is definitely our passion but we have added a few apparel pieces into the mix as well. Bringing in clothing has been really exciting and we do a lot of crystal appliques to keep everything very feminine and fun. In terms of favorites, it is hard to pick! We try and make a full collection that will relate to every female fan out there. For instance, the FANATIC II boot is a furry, fuzzy boot lined with a thick faux fur. It is extremely comfortable and perfect for a female fan who is always on her feet and is a busy bee that looks for something functional to throw on every day. Then we have the ENTHUIAST II that is 100% water repellent shoe for those season ticket holders that need to look good, but feel good no matter what the weather decides to throw her way on game day.
We also hear from those “fashionista” fans that do not go to games or dress for comfort…they want to look chic at all times. This kind of fan would love our 4” velvet GROUPIE II wedge. So the styles will relate to every woman differently based on her inner fan ship. We wear them all!
What has been the biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge is getting vendors on board to bring in your product. Women love our product once they see it, but getting them to actually know the product exists is definitely a daily trial. Buyers dictate what fans purchase by bringing in an assortment of goods. So if a store does not bring it in, then female fans do not have the opportunity to purchase it. With that said, we are always working to expand our vendor list and get product to every female fan out there.
What is it like working with your sister every day?
Kristina and I are identical twin sisters so it is rather easy. I would be lying if I said we did not have disagreements….my office neighbors can certainly attest to that…LOL. But they are usually silly discrepancies and we move on in a matter of moments. We have the same goals in mind for our company so we are typically on the same page. We were brought in to this world together…so it feels natural to run a business together!
Stay tuned ladies, we asked the Cuce' sisters a lot more questions that we'll feature on our blog next week!
For more from Cuce' Shoes, visit http://lovecuceshoes.com/!
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