She’s worked as a street-style photographer, fashion stylist, brand consultant and designer, but these days, Kate Schelter is best known for her dreamy watercolor paintings. Her illustrations capture stylish glimpses of everyday life—cars, handbags, sunglasses—with an easiness and improvisational spirit that seems to follow Schelter wherever she goes. (It only takes one glimpse at her Chelsea loft to see that her casual glam aesthetic informs every decor choice.)
Schelter just published her first book, Classic Style: Hand it Down, Dress it Up, Wear it Out, for which she’s currently on tour, and now she has announced her first brand collaboration. Italian luxury footwear brand Tod’s tapped Schelter to create illustrations of the brand’s iconic footwear as part of their My Gommino Pop Ups, which will be installed each of their stores nationwide.
Customers will be able to customize their own Gommino driving shoe from over 2,000 fabric, stitching, and pattern options, and the the first 80 customer appointments will receive a limited edition print of Schelter’s watercolor painting of the Gommino.
The customization program opens on July 20th at all the brand’s boutiques including Madison Avenue in New York City and online (through October). “I have collaborated with other brands, and I have limited edition prints with Artstar that are sold on Domino, but this was a first for me to partner exclusively with a brand itself for a specific icon,” says Schelter. “Tod’s is such a classic Italian brand—I remember coveting a friend’s driving shoe with the cool dots on the bottom in fourth grade so I was thrilled when they reached out.”
For the illustrator, a lover of all things classic, this was a perfect fit. “I was able to work 100 percent in my personal style which was wonderful,” says Schelter. “I approach painting shoes like painting architecture: direct and clear, with nothing too fussy or stylized. I always want to let the design shine through.”