Nicole Saldana Designs Shoes For The Refined Punk

Photo courtesy of Nicole Saldana

We chat with the designer about her new namesake label

Nicole Saldana is no stranger to the world of fashion design.

Not only does she have an eight-year stint as design director at Opening Ceremony under her belt, but she also worked alongside Carol Lim and Humberto Leon on the relaunch of Kenzo, and with Tory Burch on the launch of Tory Sport. For these very reasons, we’ve been excitedly awaiting the launch of her namesake line of shoes, which just dropped yesterday.

Her collection is unsurprisingly one-of-a-kind, with each shoe inspired by her girlfriends. “Each style is named after the friend that inspired it,” she says. “The diversity of the collection, like my friends, is represented through the different silhouettes, materials, and construction.”

Diverse, it is. The line is comprised of everything from thigh-high denim boots to crocodile-embossed loafers. Though her designs are all very different, there’s something about them that speaks to the same woman, one who's both a bit polished and a bit punk. Chunky lug soles add a rugged touch to a more cultured style like the loafer, while nylon contrast-stitch combat boots are just as tough as they are minimal. “I always look for the perfect winter boot or loafer with just a bit of novelty, and I think the collection lends itself to being a mix of need and want,” she says.

Styles range between $310 and $650 and are available now at The shoes will also be carried at Opening Ceremony in New York and Japan, as well as Farfetch and Harvey Nichols in the U.K.

Saldana credits her years of experience, from her schooling and internships up to stints at corporate brands, for giving her the courage to take the plunge into designing her own line. For starters, she's grateful to Lim and Leon for incubating her talents and allowing her to learn the business side of things. “I’ve been really fortunate to work for and with really aspirational and hardworking people,” she says. “With their motivation and learning lessons, I thought I could offer something different and unique that wasn’t already out there in terms of footwear.”

Click through the gallery, below, to get a closer look at the brand new collection.

Photo courtesy of Nicole Saldana
Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images

Which one, though?

Kim Kardashian is suing fast fashion retailer Missguided, claiming that the brand uses her image to spark interest in and sell its clothing. This lawsuit comes a few days after a theory, that she may be selling her own vintage clothing designs to fast fashion brands so that they can rip them off, made its rounds on the internet.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kardashian's attorney Michael Kump writes that "Missguided systematically uses the names and images of Kardashian and other celebrities to advertise and spark interest in its website and clothing." Other celebrities that the brand has tagged on its Instagram include Cardi B and Dua Lipa, along with the other members of the Kardashian-Jenner family.

Kump uses the example of the Yeezy dress that Kim posted to Instagram, which was ripped off by the brand within a couple of hours. "Recently, for example, after Kardashian posted a photo on Instagram of a dress that was made for her... Missguided quickly responded with its own Instagram post... boasting that it would be ripping off the design within 'a few days,'" Kump continues. "Missguided purposefully inserted Kardashian's Instagram username (@KimKardashian) into its post to capitalize on her celebrity status and social media following in promoting the sale of its upcoming product."

Kump also draws attention to the fact that the brand uses Kardashian's name so much that it may lead others to believe that she works with the brand, which, he wants to make clear, she does not: "Missguided's U.S. website has included entire pages that are devoted solely to the sale of clothing inspired by Kardashian, and on which Kardashian's name and likeness are prominently used without her permission to promote the products."

Some are noting that it's suspicious that Kardashian is not suing Fashion Nova, as well, since the brand most recently ripped off a vintage Mugler gown that Kardashian wore. Though it may be harder for Kardashian to make any claims since timestamps have revealed that the dress was made before Kardashian premiered the dress.



Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images.

He previously claimed to be a victim of a hate crime

According to reports, actor Jussie Smollett has been arrested by the Chicago Police Department. As CNN outlines, he's facing a felony charge of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false report. If found guilty, he could face up to three years in prison.

The Empire star previously claimed that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime on January 29. He alleged that two masked men attacked him, tied a noose around his neck, poured bleach on him, and yelled, "This is MAGA country!" Brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo were eventually arrested and brought in for questioning, during which news broke that one appeared on Empire and the other worked as Smollett's personal trainer. Now, according to both men and reports, it's being said that Smollett paid them to "orchestrate" the attack.

Smollett's attorneys, Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson, have issued a statement regarding their client's defense. "Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked," they told Deadline. "Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense."

If this is all true, this unfortunate turn of events should in no way take away from the fact that there is an abundant number of racially and sexually motivated attacks happening all of the time. They also still remain vastly underreported, so it's essential to listen to alleged victims, always.