You are currently viewing Los Angeles-based designer Jamie Haller bridges the gap between interiors and fashion

Los Angeles-based designer Jamie Haller bridges the gap between interiors and fashion

Necessity is the mother of invention, but for Jamie Haller it’s also the starting point for his recently launched eponymous shoe collection. “All the shoes I make are iconic silhouettes that I needed to create a version for myself,” she tells TZR via Zoom from the backyard of her Craftsman-style home in Los Angeles, with trees and shrubs surrounding it and the faint sounds of chirping bird and her toddler running in the background. For the past 22 years, Haller has been a fashion designer; she also runs a very successful home restoration business with her husband (more on that). You could call her an interior and fashion designer with impeccable taste that transcends traditional career trajectories. In other words? The kind of person you could turn to for styling advice.

Last year, at the height of the pandemic, Haller did the unthinkable and started a new business. His first shoe brand offers three timeless silhouettes: ballet flats, loafers and Jutti slippers. Versatile, beautifully crafted and built to last, Haller’s assortment of carefully edited staples is the culmination of his extensive industry experience. Ahead, Haller shares how she balances her work in two worlds of fashion and interiors – as well as her secret sauce for making shoes that feel like a second skin.

Cultivate a career in fashion

Creator Jamie Haller

Despite the fact that Haller is naturally imbued with a strong sense of style, she never thought of fashion as something she could do. “In college, I was studying Spanish and philosophy, and although I loved speaking Spanish, it didn’t really feed me,” she says. “Then I met someone who worked in fashion and I was like, ‘Wait, what do you mean by that? work fashionable?’ I grew up in San Diego and watched Elsa Klensch, but I didn’t feel like it was something I could do for a living, you know? Fast forward to now and Haller has designed for both major retail companies and independent brands with cult followings.

Explore the world of interiors

Amid her growing career as a fashion designer, Haller also took a side-hustle with her husband in 2012, which — as many side-hustle do — turned into a thriving business. “We had this hobby of buying and restoring houses and it started as a way of thinking about our future. We didn’t have a retirement or pension plan so we were thinking about what was going to be the thing to help out when we got older,” Haller says. The two started with rental income properties and would renovate, redevelop and rent places in Echo Park and Silverlake in Los Angeles, many of which were beautiful Spanish-style, cottage-style bungalows and quadruplexes. “I received this education by bringing something back to his bones and bringing him back to life,” she explains. “I loved doing it through the lens of respecting the originality and authenticity of its architecture.”

From there, the couple focused on homes, starting with a mid-century property in 2014 in the neighborhood,” she says. “I had the ability to x-ray whatever the current state of something and only romantically see its full potential, for better or for worse. It’s been a truly amazing journey that I’m grateful for. and that I take day by day.

Start a shoe brand

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Courtesy of Jami Haller

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Courtesy of Jami Haller

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Courtesy of Jami Haller

Between her job in fashion and her booming home improvement business, Haller was busy. And then the pandemic hit. “It was the first time in 20 years that everything had stopped – so much was unknown,” she recalls. “There was a lot of thinking during that time and I realized I wanted to do something on my own that I was responsible for. I guess losing control and being told ‘oh, everything stops” were just very disturbing. She had been collecting shoes for over two decades but had never designed a pair. “With clothing, if you’ve designed about 82,000 pairs of jeans, you’re not constantly inspired every time you see a pair of jeans, you know? But the shoes felt like this cool thing, something entirely new,” she says. “I had no experience in shoe design, but I have so much experience in design and production. Those skills are transferred. So I decided I was going to try something personal.

Presentation of the Jutti slipper

Haller started with a pair of Jutti slippers. “The first shoe I made was a Jutti slipper, which is an authentic Indian (and sometimes Moroccan) slipper. I didn’t design the shoe, the concept of the shoe existed but I had a pair that I bought in Rajasthan when my sister got married,” she says. “Her husband has family there so we were in India for a month and traveled through the cities and visited all the amazing sites. I found a pair that I died of and fell in love with. I wore them every day for 15 years until they finally fell apart.

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The Penny moccasin

Next is the penny loafer, another classic that echoes Haller’s own wardrobe. “Loafers were mostly because I have this collection of men’s loafers in my closet that I buy from vintage stores or eBay or flea markets,” she says. “None of them suit me: I just buy them because I think they look good. I always see beauty through the lens of age and patina, which also translates very clearly into what I do from home. I think the way leather transforms over time is beautiful, so I wanted to create a pair based on the ones I love that would actually fit me.

The ballet slipper

Finally, Haller completed the line with a pair of ballet slippers. “I usually buy about three pairs of Capezio ballet slippers at a time and wear them until they have a hole in them, which happens quickly because you’re not supposed to wear them outside,” says -she. “I love the shape it gives my foot, I guess I want to feel like a dancer all the time.” Haller also attributes his motive for designing a ballet slipper to a desire for comfort. “In my twenties, I remember thinking ‘Oh, I’m never do not wear high heels, I will only wear high heels for the rest of my life. But honestly, now I’ll only wear slippers for the rest of my life. I just have to keep making new great releases for me…really that’s it for me. This has always been my inspiration – it’s very selfish!

Looking ahead, with intention

Jamie Haller

Haller will continue to expand its range, but with intention. “I don’t follow trends too much, I just take them from a very internal perspective. I mean, I’ve worn the same pair of slippers for 15 years,” she says. important to me is that Why I do something that matches the quality of what I do. These shoes are inspired by something I’ve worn for so long, so they really should be of the same caliber. So what can you expect from Jamie Haller in the months and years to come? For starters, new versions of his loafers, a pair of Oxfords, a new slip-on mule and a boot. “I don’t want to say too much, but the boot has a pretty low heel and a really cool menswear-inspired shape that’s been streamlined to make it more attractive on a woman’s foot,” Haller shares. “It’s exciting to figure it all out as you go.”

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