Kellie Armbrust is Head Footwear Designer at Circus by Sam Edelman

Kellie Armbrust is Head Footwear Designer at Circus by Sam Edelman

Kellie Armbrust earned her Footwear Design (2012) and Fashion Design (2011) degrees from FIDM. She is now the head designer for Circus by Sam Edelman in New York City. 

What do you love about your job? I love that I get to spend my time in a creative atmosphere. My passion in life is, and always has been, designing shoes and being creative. The fact that I am able to express my creativity as well as showcase the knowledge I have obtained over the course of my career, makes it feel like my job was meant to be! 

What has been the proudest moment of your career? Believe it or not, the proudest moments of my career stem from some of the most stressful times! The design process of a shoe or any product can be extremely challenging. However, the knowledge that I have obtained throughout my career (internships, schooling, freelance work, etc.) partnered with my creativity and love for footwear, makes me able to create designs that are unique and centered on an overall theme, style or subject matter at hand.

When I am in China, I often find myself stressed out! The true designer in me wants to make sure every little detail, that my team and I have envisioned, comes to life and complements all of the details that make the design a one-of-a-kind piece. Whenever I get stressed out, I find myself pacing around the sample room. For some reason, it weirdly calms me. I guess you could say that I find peace and comfort in seeing the team's hard work and inspiration materialize. 

How do you feel FIDM prepared you? Attending FIDM gave me the opportunity to combine my talent and passion for footwear design with a solid foundation and overall knowledge base of the inner workings of the industry. Looking back, I can say without a doubt that my continued success is a direct result of the curriculum, faculty/staff and overall atmosphere that FIDM has to offer. 

Anything else you’d like to share? Don’t ever let anybody tell you that you cannot do something. If I listened to those individuals throughout the course of my life, I definitely wouldn’t be in the position that I am in right now, doing what I LOVE. My grandfather always told me that “learning lasts forever.” That being said, I know that with continued hard work and dedication to my trade, I will continue to surpass any goal that I set for myself, and create designs that put smiles on faces.