Meet the Cato Designer: Jenna!

Meet the Cato Designer: Jenna. Jenna pictured in front of a variety of boots and handbags.

Meet Jenna! She designs all of your favorite shoes, handbags and accessories at Cato. A glitter fanatic and animal print enthusiast, Jenna works hard to make sure all of our fashion add-ons top your most-wanted list. Keep reading to learn more about Jenna and her life here at Cato!

Designer, Jenna, holding a leopard print ankle boot.

What made you want to go into design and shoe design, specifically?
I have always been exposed to art in some way. Whether it was painting, drawing or crafting. I loved making clothes for my Barbie dolls! I’ve always had an eye for creation and was very good at sketching. My mom said I used to be so particular about what I wanted to wear to school and I would want to change the details of garments she purchased to make it “my own!”
I became interested in accessories in particular while I was in high school. I took a couple of pre-college courses at FIT in New York, specializing in Accessory Design & Fashion Illustration. I loved it! However, believe it or not, I ended up majoring in Sportswear with a concentration in Menswear Apparel at Marist College. When I went to work after I graduated, my first job was in accessories (specifically sunglasses and jewelry). When I moved here to North Carolina and started working at Cato, I was given the opportunity to begin designing exclusive accessories and SHOES! Shoe design is very technical and there are a lot of components so my creative juices are flowing more than ever!

Where does your design inspiration come from?
I am always inspired by color, texture and materials first. When I look at materials that I am about to use in a design, I am constantly checking the handfeel. It is so important. I then look for shades of colors that compliment the outfits we are doing for the season. I also love throwing in some pizazz with a hint of animal or metallic wherever I can. I adore leopard print and sparkle! Accessories are often personal and emotional to us, so you have to have fun with it! Who wants their closet to be boring?!

Meet the Cato Designer: Jenna. Jenna pictured in front of a variety of boots and handbags.

What is your favorite pair of shoes you have ever designed?
My absolute favorite will be coming out this fall. It is a suede leopard bootie! It also has a matching handbag that I designed along with it! I cannot wait for it to hit stores later this year!

We’re so excited about the great spring shooties we have available right now. What are some of your favorite details featured on the shooties that make them special?
I love that our shooties can be worn with a dressy or casual outfit. That’s the beauty of a shootie! It hits at the right spot of the leg that you are able to wear them with your favorite pair of jeans or with a dress. We offer shooties in many different heel heights and toe shapes. There is something for everyone! This spring in particular we have shooties with cut-outs, lasercuts, studs, tassels, and are all in the best premium materials you can find.

What is one of your favorite ways to style shooties for everyday?
I love wearing a chunky heel shootie with a dress! It is perfect to wear to work then go out with friends for dinner or a date! Casual, yet dressy…and cute, of course!

A collection of sketches, boots, fabric swatches and photos of boots and handbags.

What exciting trends can we expect to see this spring with shoes?
There’s a few trends that we stand for in shoes specifically this spring. Lace-ups and ankle interest as well as gladiators are elements you will see throughout spring and into summer. Whether it is a flat sandal, a wedge or a closed toe flat, we added elements that wrap around your ankle for that extra fashion forward look and femininity. We went back in time a little and created some retro looks with wood bottom platforms and patchworking. In our sandals and wedges you will see rope details, braiding and crochet elements perfect for the warmer weather ahead. The best thing about this season is there is so much variety!

Tell us about your favorite pair of shoes you’ve ever owned. Do you still have them?
I have a pair of flip flops that I wear all the time. I have had them since 2009. They are black with a bow and rhinestones. The best part is that they have a gel insole so your feet feel so comfy! I have bought 3 other colors since then! I just love how they are simple, feminine and comfortable. I always get compliments on them too!

Meet the Cato Designer: Jenna. Jenna pictured in front of a variety of boots and handbags throwing swatches up in the air playfully.

If you loved learning a little more about Jenna, check out our interviews with dress designer, Glenda and jewelry designer, Diva!

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25 thoughts on “Meet the Cato Designer: Jenna!

    1. I love Cato to the fullest ..I am not complaining but some of the shoes r a little stiff..maybe u could consider a little softer leather…I love Cato…I go at least once a month..or every other month….spend from…50..to200 .everytime

      1. Could you do more shoes with kitten heels? I work standing on my feet all day and cant wear a high heel.

      1. I love Cato especially the wide width on shoes because of my skin condition, I relocated to Bloomington MN, no Cato store around for me to shop, I have to order all of my stuff now,

  1. I learned a great deal about Cato shoes and its designer. I am excited to see what she has to offer our customers.

  2. Love Cato!!! Clothes, shoes, accessories……
    Would love to see more shoes with a more confortable heels! I’m a teacher and must be standing up and on the move all day….

  3. I’m a Manager with Cato Fashion and I love the Cato Blog. I share the blog with my team they love it. It was very refreshing to read about Jenna and get designs. You ROCK Jenna, keep up with the great designs

  4. Is there any way you can design a size 13 wide shoe, love the shoes. I can’t wear a single pair.

  5. Love Cato’s clothing ! From the dresses To the inmates! I just wish catos hey I had some clothing inspired by celebrities Like ( The Kardashian Jenner’s , beyonce , Bella Thorne, Kelly Rowland and more ) Fashion is one of the keys for women today inspiration I can come from anywhere And key. For me every time that item at Cato’s in Starkville Mississippi , I feature it on my YouTube channel !

  6. Me and my mom love Cato’s to the fullest the only problem we have with is with the shoes they are too hard.

  7. I am a Cato’s shopper and I love the clothing, jewelry, shoes and everything, I wish I could be one of the models to show off some of the clothing that has always been a dream of mine. Everywhere I go people are always asking where I shop and I reply Cato’s they are the best !!, and I love to put the outfits together to make a fashion statement. Would you please make sure this info gets to the right Department.

  8. Hi, loved the interview. I like shopping in Cato, like every other week I pop in to see what’s new in store and end up buying fews things. I like your shoe design but I cannot wear them . I need shoe size 5 and yours start from 6. Please would you consider making size 5 shoes too. Its really hard to find size 5 shoes. Pretty Please 🙂 .

  9. Jenna : Please try to use more cool breathable fabric choices for plus styles. Also do much more tunic styles & when considering tops cut sleeves to elbow ,3/4 or to wrist; as anything less does very little to nothing to flatter the plus size figure. When selecting prints for plus sizes please consider the frame for the canvas keeping the print design smaller than one might choose for the misses size.

  10. I have shopped Cato ever since it has opened in Owensboro, Kentucky. I love the style and the price, and I always find something when I walk in the door. It is my go to place when I want to get a birthday gift or Christmas gift. I just bought some great looking booties, they are tan with some silver and gray tones flowers on them, and I love them. I am wearing them at Thanksgiving with a top and vest I also got at Cato’s, too. Their jewelry is wonderful, and always a good price. I am a bargain shopper, and love a good buy. Cato’s will always be my first stop when I am looking for something new to wear. I am 58 years old and retired so I am on a tight budget. Thanks to all of you who make it a wonderful place to shop, and keep the fashions coming to us.

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