As a drama student, Mosha Lundström Halbert had an unorthodox approach, which started with finding the perfect shoes to define each character she played. She soon decided acting wasn’t her calling and jumped feet first into a career in fashion. Her first job was Fashion News Editor at FLARE magazine, followed by a stint in the Manhattan fashion office of Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor. Today, Mosha — shoe lover, storyteller, world traveler, creative connoisseur, active Instagrammer, proud Canadian — is the Fashion Editor at Footwear News.
Were you always interested in a fashion career?
My mother is a fashion designer and my dad was always on the business side of fashion. I grew up reading the dailies and wanting to understand the fashion world from the inside out. Commerce, storytelling and style all appealed to me from an early age.
When did your love affair with footwear begin?
As a little girl, I was entranced by my mother’s closet with its dedicated footwear wall. Her entire wardrobe was organized by color, with shoes to match in every shade of the rainbow.
What is your beat?
While most of my time is spent focusing on the women’s market, I also touch everything from baby shoes to work-boots, depending on what the shoot theme and issue requires. My job is to give the footwear topic of the moment a fashion spin.
How do your drama studies help your job as a Fashion Editor?
In drama I was taught preparation was key. Hammering out every little detail in advance – be it for an interview or shoot prep – is what actually allows authentic and spontaneous moments to seep in. I love when that happens.
How do you approach your photo shoots?
I start by distilling my collected references – film stills, vintage pictures, clippings, images I’ve taken on the market – into a mood board and go from there.
I am excited about the August 4th FFANY issue editorial. The theme was naked shoes — styles in neutrals and flesh tones to give you legs for days. To drive this point home, we shot them on three gorgeous models of different ethnicity. Every woman needs an elongating “naked shoe” in her arsenal.
We love your Instagram account. How do you decide if a photo is Instagram-worthy?
Four things: original, positive, lighthearted, and a little bit special.
The footwear market is massive. How do you manage to see everything?
I love footwear so I am always excited to see what’s new. Luckily, I have a photographic memory so I am able to take in a lot of information and jog my memory with snaps on my i-phone and digital camera. Plus, my colleagues at FN are a tremendous help to fill in the gaps. They are all experts of their respective beats.
How many shoe shows and fashion weeks do you attend each season?
For the shoe shows, I go to NY, Vegas, Paris and usually try to visit 100 + booths per show. I attend New York, Milan and Paris Fashion Week and see as many fashion shows as I can fit into a day. By the end of the circuit, it’s over 70 shows. Plus, I attend the footwear presentations. I literally run in heels (or spiffy oxfords) and cover as much ground as possible.
How many pairs do you typically sneak into your suitcase for Fashion Week?
Last season, I packed about 14 pairs for over 2 weeks in Europe. I agree with Tamara Mellon’s comment, “Don’t wear the same pair of shoes two days a row.” Shoes are a mode of transportation and need rest between days. That said, there is always that one pair that has power over me each season and gets the most mileage.
Do you ever see French women in sneakers?
It’s rare but when it happens it’s the low cut Converse All Star in cream or maybe Saint Laurent slip-ons.
Have you ever had a shoe drama?
I’ve always marked my most exciting life events with a fabulous pair of shoes. When I got my first editorial job at FLARE, it was an amazing pair of Balenciaga boots that I tracked down on Ebay: the lace up hiking boots from Fall/Winter 2007 – my favorite Nicholas Ghesquière collection ever. Unfortunately, the heel broke one night and my date had to give me a piggy-back ride home.
If you could host a Shoe Salon a la Dorothy Parker, which designers would you invite (living or dead)?
Roger Vivier, Manolo Blahnik, Francesco Russo, Paul Andrew, Jack Purcell and Maud Frizon.
-As told to Erica Roseman