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Hanging Out With the Girls of Elyse Walker and THEPERFEXT

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In 1999, Elyse Walker was over the long drive to Beverly Hills and Malibu for acceptable shopping, so she decided to bring it closer to home when she opened a small store in the Pacific Palisades. That store has since expanded from 900 to 6,500 sq ft (five storefronts), practically the entire block, with shoe, contemporary and couture departments that have people traveling from Beverly Hills specifically for Walker's spot-on edits. "People come here to be dressed head-to-toe," the entrepreneur turned designer explained. "They invest in a McQueen blazer and we can grab a Frame Denim and a Sigerson Morrison shoe and a lot of stores don't have that access."

Knowing that she eventually wanted to design, Walker launched a shoe line last year filled with a few essentials known for their comfort. Who doesn't love espadrilles or fringe booties that don't kill your feet after a full day's wear? Right off the heels of that success, Walker joined forces with Sable Banoun, a designer who began her fashion career at Walker's store 13 years ago and calls her mentor "Mother, Daughter, Friend." Together, they launched a fashion lover's dream with their small collection called, fittingly, THEPERFEXT. We caught up with Team Elyse Walker to find out a little more about those lines we are currently crushing hard.

Why did you start with shoes?
Elyse Walker: "Shoes are in my blood, I have no choice. My father is a shoe wholesaler, my mother was a shoe retailer, my aunt is in the shoe business. I knew that one day I would want to move to the design side and shoes were a natural fit."

What inspires your shoe designs?
EW: "Usually it's fabrics. They say when you decorate a house you should buy the rug first. The last collection was inspired by one piece of fabric and I don't know what next season will be. I have a bunch of chains and studs sitting in my office, it's not even a silhouette first for me, that comes after."

How did the two of you meet?
EW: "Her mom walked in when she was 15 and said 'I will pay you to hire my daughter.'"
Sable Banoun: "My mom and I walked home and I said, 'How dare you offer me to work there!' I was 15 and she stopped me on the sidewalk and said, 'You will thank me one day,' and I do. I thank her so much."

And what made you start a line together 13 years later?
EW: "Were we in Mexico?"
SB: "We were on the plane and drawing and we looked at each other and she said 'Let's do it.'"
EW: "I always had in my head that I wanted to do a small, capsule collection and we were just talking."

EW: "Our goal is not to be a whole lifestyle, it's to be a capsule of must-haves. You put on the fringe jacket and you want to throw out your whole closet and only wear that. We're just looking for a few pieces that you have to add to your wardrobe."
SB: "We worked really hard on the fit."

Describe the Elyse and Sable off-duty looks.
SB: "I am zero to 60 in everything in my life, the air conditioning is on freezing or the heat is on 100 degrees. So, sweatpants or going out. There is no in-between."
EW: "I'm kind of rock'n'roll Tomboy, that's how I'm most comfortable. Even when I'm dressed up, I'm so happy all the combat boots are coming back out. That's really my style."
· Forward by Elyse Walker [Official Site]
· How to Shop Luxe and Brunch Like a Parisian in Pacific Palisades [Racked]
· Inside Stateside's Clean and Cool DTLA Studio [Racked]
· A Look At Flirty-Edgy Brand Stella & Jamie's DTLA Studio [Racked]