SOLE MUSIC: Laura Johnston chats to Kerryn Moscicki, owner and creator of the footwear brand, Radical Yes! in her North Melbourne store about finding magic ideas in the bathtub, yogic podiatry and making smart footwear for smart women. She proposes we start a feet revolution: ditch your heels, own the ground under your feet, stand tall and reconnect. Put your best foot forward. Kerryn is wearing her fiery red lace up Radical Yes! boots.
The Melbourne shoe company, Radical Yes!, was founded in 2013 by product designer and Yoga practitioner, Kerryn Moscicki. It’s sole purpose? To create a boundless shoe for ‘Wonder Women’: flats for gals who like to move and be moved by creative, active and stylish lifestyles. Designed with product developer, Sofia Lundqvist, each collection explores an array of unique textile designs, fabrications and patterns. Since 2015, the Radical Yes! team have also partnered with the Not-for-Profit organisation ‘Wear for Success,’ who provide pre-interview training and attire for women who come from disadvantaged backgrounds seeking to enter the workforce. The aims are to ‘give these women a sense of purpose in their work, creativity, community and the opportunity to better themselves and their surroundings.’ This helped to establish their three initiatives; The Radical Vision (eye wear range), Radical Steps (ballet flats with portions of proceeds donated to women in need) and the ‘Toe Tapper Trade’ where customers can recycle their pre-loved Radical Yes! shoes to women experiencing need.
Kerryn Moscicki comes from a long career in fashion, working as a footwear product designer for big brands including Sportsgirl, Portmans and Sussan. She allowed herself to take a 12-month sabbatical, redirecting her focus to complete a Yoga Teacher Training course. During this time a manufacturing partner from the industry contacted her to propose the idea of starting her own brand. She’d said, “I’m not doing my own brand. No way, I can’t do that. I’d had my first child at the time.” However, he kept persisting and remained engaged with the idea, telling her, “your designs are really good. You could have your own brand...”
The origins of its’ quirky, uber positive title has a vivid story set in the bath. As Kerryn explains, “The ‘Radical’ was from a Yoga book I was reading at the time by Donna Farhi (internationally renowned yoga teacher). She talks about how Yoga is a radical and subversive act. It’s an invitation to being able to step away from society, culture and everything that’s happened: to be internal, quiet and to listen. ‘Yes!’ is for my Mum. She was this crazy, super positive woman, a really inspiring lady. She passed away a little while before I started the brand. It was kind of an ode to her, she used to always go “Yes!” For Kerryn, the word ‘radical’ fundamentally means ‘true self’ and ‘freedom.’ Personally, financially, creatively --listening to your instincts.
Meditation and Yoga are daily rituals, and play fundamental roles in her ability to activate creativity, “there’s a lot of intuition in what I do. I heard this quote from Keith Richards (Rolling Stones) about writing songs. You put your antenna on, you sit back and wait for something to drop in. And, if you’ve got a clear head, it can kind of happen that way.” She explains, “there were a lot of ideas coming through my Yoga Practice that were informing the range. This idea of products having to be useful and functional as much as they were fashionable. I wanted to design a flat shoe that wasn’t a trainer. You could wear them with your yoga gear and then wear them out afterwards. It was at the beginning of the whole active wear trend. I identified after many years of product development and developing big ranges that for me personally, the best story is purpose.”
Footwear can play an important role in our physical and mental connection to the earth. Heels result in the shortening of hamstrings, damage to the lower back and troubles our gait. She maintains that what we put on our feet can reconnect and centre ourselves to the body and mind; we can delve deeper into our thoughts and respond to the energies surrounding us. Product developer, Sofia Lundqvist, has a similar yet very different aesthetic to Kerryn, a positive creative process wherein the best parts of the collection are born.
Meditation and Yoga are daily rituals, and play fundamental roles in her ability to activate creativity, “there’s a lot of intuition in what I do. I heard this quote from Keith Richards (Rolling Stones) about writing songs. You put your antenna on, you sit back and wait for something to drop in. And, if you’ve got a clear head, it can kind of happen that way.” She explains, “there were a lot of ideas coming through my Yoga Practice that were informing the range. This idea of products having to be useful and functional as much as they were fashionable. I wanted to design a flat shoe that wasn’t a trainer. You could wear them with your yoga gear and then wear them out afterwards. It was at the beginning of the whole active wear trend. I identified after many years of product development and developing big ranges that for me personally, the best story is purpose.”
Footwear can play an important role in our physical and mental connection to the earth. Heels result in the shortening of hamstrings, damage to the lower back and troubles our gait. She maintains that what we put on our feet can reconnect and centre ourselves to the body and mind; we can delve deeper into our thoughts and respond to the energies surrounding us. Product developer, Sofia Lundqvist, has a similar yet very different aesthetic to Kerryn, a positive creative process wherein the best parts of the collection are born.
The initial 2013 Spring collection was a simple range comprised of the lace up shoes (the “Abundance” range) produced in seven colour and pattern variations. Since then, the brand has grown to twenty styles per season, including a vegan range using cotton canvas. The Radical Yes! ladies are environmentally focused on a ‘small foot print,’ sourcing materials in an open market, reducing their bulk shipments to no more than three times a year, always using sea freight and producing a limited amount of shoes per style. Kerryn expresses how she wants to create a manageable collection that she’s proud of and a range that possesses the continual exploration of pattern and authenticity.
What is like to wear them? Discussing the response from customers, they seem to have an unexplained ‘something’. Kerryn reflects on how a customer came into the store over the weekend, tried on a pair of their new sling backs and her whole energy shifted. The woman was a glowing beacon. Can a shoe really hold that much power? Possibly, Yes! “I believe all the shoes are magic and I believe they have transformative powers. When people put them on, something happens.”
They also maintain their own online blog ‘Yes! Journal’, highlighting creative and intelligent Wonder Women engaging with stimulating ideas through invigorating platforms: “it’s a passion project. We really believe in sharing the stories of the people who wear the shoes and how the shoes are inspiring others.” It gives the brand context and instills a community with her customers. “It’s a fundamental part to what we do and how we tell stories. People really responded to it and enjoy it and we enjoy doing it.”
Who is her most influential Wonder Woman? Without hesitation, she responds with her Mum: “She was so bold, extremely intelligent, really beautiful but didn’t care about her beauty. It was about her brains first... It’s great to look nice and everything, but your ‘self sense’ is more important in the world.”

Follow Radical Yes! on Insta here.
Visit their website here.

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