The Create Series: Res Ipsa

An Interview with the Founders Behind These Gorgeous Kilim Loafers
Filed Under > Everyday

Kilim loafers by Res Ipsa | Kilim bag from Res Ipsa | waitingonmartha.comRes Ipsa handmade Kilim bags and shoes
Res Ipsa kilim loafers | waitingonmartha.comRes Ipsa Founders Josh Moore & Oudini Gogo |

The second that MKR rocked her kilim chukka boots in this outfit post, I knew I had to know more about them and how to get my hands on a pair.  She introduced me to Res Ipsa, a local Atlanta company that’s crafting these stunning one-of-a-kind shoes, all handmade from 100-year-old rugs.  The company was founded by Joshua Moore and Odini Gogo, a brilliantly stylish duo that knows just how much we all need a pair of comfortable, long-lasting statement shoes in our lives.  We recently sat down with the two to hear more behind Res Ipsa‘s journey, their ever-growing product offering and how they continue to source and create truly beautiful handmade products.  Cheers, Kat

WOM: Please walk us through your professional journey: an initial dream, how you first started, what made you want to create the company, etc. 
RI: We started off making ties that we could wear to work. We are both lawyers, and we were frustrated that we couldn’t find neckties that were exactly 3-inches wide (what we call the midpoint between “Get off my lawn!” and hipster). A chance encounter with a manufacturer in Turkey while we were on a fabric-sourcing trip to Istanbul expanded our focus to kilim (hand-woven Turkish rugs) and other interesting fabrics that we could use to re-interpret classic designs like dress slippers, weekend bags, and dopp kits. 

WOM: We absolutely love your unique name, and its meaning in Latin for “the thing speaks for itself.” Can you share a little about why you chose the Res Ipsa name, and what it means for the company? 
RI: The Res Ipsa name comes from the Latin phrase res ipsa loquitur meaning, “the thing speaks for itself.” Every first year law student learns the phrase, so it was a subtle nod to our former day jobs. The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur was first applied in the English tort law case Byrne v Boadle (1863). In that case, the court ruled for the injured plaintiff when a barrel of flour fell from a second-story loft and hit him on his head. The court ruled negligence was res ipsa loquitur. Because the facts were so obvious, there was no need to provide further explanation—the thing spoke for itself.

WOM: Describe Res Ipsa‘s customer…Who is he? Who is she?
RI: We make products for modern traditionalists. We make timely updates to timeless styles. Our customer is not defined by his or her age–our customers are persons of style who have earned the respect of others through their classic and confident approach to fashion. They need a brand to cut through the clutter, offering high quality, classic apparel that adds new flare to their arsenal. 

WOM: It’s obvious to see that your gorgeous designs are inspired by your travels around the world, and well, we have a major case of wanderlust here at WOM! Do you have a favorite city, country, hot spot? 
RI: Our favorite place to visit is the next one. There are so many amazing places in the world, we look forward to the thrill of the unknown from some place we haven’t been yet. But of the places we’ve been in 2015, we really love Istanbul for its mix of old and new–a major European city that still has an ancient rhythm.  We also love Vienna–every bit as over-the-top and fabulous as Paris, with an under-the-radar charm that sneaks up on you. 

WOM: We talk a lot about wardrobe essentials here on WOM, and we’re big proponents of quality pieces that make a statement.  Do you have any style advice for wearing one of your unique designs?
RI: Saving your favorite pieces for special occasions robs you of the joy of wearing what you enjoy most. If you have something you really like–and we hope our one-of-a-kind loafers fall into this category–wear it every chance you get. Make it a signature piece. And when you’ve worn it out, if that day ever comes, you will have endless memories from how you got to that point.

WOM: With each pair of shoes and each bag handmade and one-of-a-kind, it’s easy to see Res Ipsa‘s dedication to lasting quality. What challenges, if any, have you faced to keep your brand standard so high?
RI: Everything we make is completely by hand from skilled artists with years of experience. Plus, we source our raw materials from all over the world. Handmade products take time, and so does assembling a collection with materials from three continents. Our products are an incredible value, but our prices are not as low as disposable, one-and-done fast fashion brands (you know who they are) but ours will last much, much longer. 

WOM: Can we expect any new additions to the Res Ipsa offering? The WOM team is crushing on the weekenders, and of course the bold Kilim loafers are easy favorites. 
RI: We are always working to expand our product mix or re-interpret existing shapes with interesting materials. Our fall collection featured Harris Tweed, and our spring collection features lightweight fabrics like linen. We are working on a prototype of a backpack, and a small ladies bag that is larger than a clutch by smaller than a tote bag.

WOM: We know first-time customers will want to try on a few designs…where can they go to do that?
RI: Our products are in over forty stores. In Atlanta, you can see them in person at H. Stockton (four locations). We are also working on opening a showroom in Inman Park/Old Fourth Ward.



Images 2 and 4, Jason Hales and images 1, 3, 5, Faisal Mohammed

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