Keller Crafts Downtown-Cool Basics and Boots for Fall

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Photo: Courtesy of Keller

With October upon us, it's no use denying the onslaught of the fall any longer — there's also no reason to deny ourselves the perfect season-spanning pair of boots. Enter Greenpoint-based designer Kelly Clark of Keller, whose leather cutout Oxfords and lace-up boots have been earning raves since she launched her clothing line along with a few pairs in spring 2008. They're produced at a dance-shoe factory in California, creating foot-forming comfort for pounding the city streets. Clark’s sculptural, simplified approach to design is a testament to her training as an artist. She originally set out to be a fashion photographer, studying photography, drawing, and sculpture at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art, and worked a stint as an art handler before enrolling at F.I.T. to study fashion. Post-graduation, she landed a job as a design assistant at indie label (and Nolita boutique) Unis, which led to a position as a production manager at fashion consulting firm David Wolfson, working with labels like Marc by Marc Jacobs, Tommy Hilfiger, and Zero + Maria Cornejo. She launched Keller last year with a small assortment of wear-anywhere basics and cutout Oxfords (picked up by In God We Trust), and the fall 2009 line presents a more refined version of her downtown-cool aesthetic. “I try to make pieces that will become staples in a person’s wardrobe, things you want to invest in,” she says. “I want to create smart pieces that last." For fall, that means a perfectly proportioned cotton blazer, vintage-tinged lace-up boots, slim stretch-cotton trousers, and handmade printed scarves. The collection is carried at Duo and Steven Alan, and Clark is launching her e-commerce site later this month. She's also a featured designer on FadMashion.com. Check out some of her pieces after the jump.