Style File: Caroline McCulloch from Frankie4

Style File Frankie4

Caroline McCulloch from Frankie4. Image supplied.

Caroline McCulloch is the founder and designer of innovative footwear label Frankie4 which she launched in Brisbane, Australia in 2010. While working as a podiatrist Caroline observed the disappointment of her patients when she prescribed them therapeutic shoes, which while they did the job, didn’t look good. So, Caroline set about creating a stylish footwear range of her own and her take on supportive yet fashionable footwear has taken off and gained Frankie4 many fans in Australia, and here in New Zealand.

Frankie4 is now stocked in shoe stores around the country and has a dedicated online store for New Zealand. This year, Frankie4 is also the official footwear partner of New Zealand Fashion Week 2021 which kicks off on August 23rd at Auckland’s Town Hall.

We caught up with Caroline to find out more about her brand, what inspires her and what you would never catch her wearing!

Tell us about your latest collection?
It’s been a tough year for many people, so our latest collection has been designed to be as hard working as our customers, with a rich trans seasonal colour palette in beautiful butter-soft leathers. Fashionable, wardrobe-friendly and versatile, with our game-changing comfort as a given – this collection will spark joy!

What made you become a designer?
I felt I didn’t have a choice; I was sick of referring my patients to wear shoes they didn’t love. As a podiatrist I always wanted the best outcome for my patients. Trying to convince them to wear a ‘supportive’ pair of shoes that I wouldn’t ever wear because of how they looked went against my grain and didn’t provide the best outcome. So, I took it into my own hands to change this.

What inspires you?
Delivering a fashionable solution that genuinely benefits the wearer. I care what our customers say, I take what women say and write about us to heart, reading positive feedback absolutely drives me to keep us providing.

Style File Frankie4

Footwear from Frankie4’s latest collection.

Describe your personal style and how it influences your designs?
I love well-crafted designs, made of quality materials, gravitating to clothing that has structure but doesn’t compromise how you can move in it. Ironically, this is much like the ethos behind our footwear designs.

What is your all-⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠time favourite purchase?
My Prada handbag – the woven Tress handbag from summer 2020 range. Cost per wear, it has been a great investment piece.

What wardrobe item should everyone invest in?
Obviously, I’m biased – but it’s footwear. Life’s too short to wear shoes you don’t love, nor should we have to put up with shoes that hurt.

Invest in footwear that makes you look and feel a million dollars.

Do you have a style rule you always obey?
Style rule – style for me is more about personal confidence than slavishly following catwalk trends: wear what you love and love what you wear!

Style File Frankie4

Footwear from Frankie4’s latest collection.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Luckily for me, it’s reoccurring. Every time I walk into one of our Concept Stores, (which are the most beautiful stores I have ever seen!) I see our footwear in all their glory and get to hear what the women in store are saying. That ‘ahhh moment’ when they try on a pair of our shoes. That for me is a pinch me moment, every time.

What can’t you live without?
Laughter – I love seeing it, hearing it, causing it, experiencing it. I’m very aware life is short, and I need to look back and think ‘we built an amazing brand, but we had fun doing it’.

Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…
Jandals.

Images supplied.

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