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Arden Wohl on her latest fashion venture: A leather-free shoe line

Arden Wohl poses for pictures during the Arden

Arden Wohl poses for pictures during the Arden Wohl X Cri de Coeur presentation at The W Hotel Union Square on September 4, 2014 in New York City. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Style icon Arden Wohl's latest fashion venture will have you walking in cruelty-free style.

The New Yorker It Girl, who famously was the wardrobe inspiration for the character Blair Waldorf in "Gossip Girl," has collaborated with such designers as Miu Miu, Proenza Schouler, Imitation of Christ and VPL. Her latest sees her working with luxury brand Cri de Coeur on a leather-free shoe line.

Fashion is just one arena Wohl has made her mark. The film school and culinary school graduate has produced films and interned at ABC Kitchen and Aureole. Shes also involved with several philanthropic organizations.

Wohl clues us in to her love of philanthropy, food and fashion.


Q: What philanthropic organizations are you involved with?

A: The Tibet House, GEMS [Girls Educational and Mentoring Services in Harlem], the Endangered Species Coalition. All animal rights causes. I do not own or wear any products made from animal including clothing, brushes, makeup brushes, et cetera.


Q: You have collaborated on headbands. Why shoes?

A: When I gave up all of my leather for good there were not that many choices out there for non-leather, or vegan, shoes. I decided to collaborate with the existing brand Cri de Coeur on a line that could penetrate the contemporary markets regardless of their use of alternative fabrics.


Q: Tell me about the designs on the line.

A: Julie [Dicterow] and Gina [Ferraraccio] founded Cri de Coeur. We have collaborated and have looked to art as the foundation for our inspiration, particularly the Symbolism movement of the 19th century.


Q: You are a muse for so many designers. Who's your favorite?

A: VPL, Stella McCartney, Zac Posen, Mary Katrantzou, Acne, Proenza Schouler, Thakoon, Maki Oh.


Q: Any thoughts on Oscar de la Renta?

A: He was the greatest American designer, or designer living in America rather. My favorite vintage dress is a de la Renta from the '70s.


Q: When did you start making pastries?

A: I went to pastry school for nine months in 2009-10.


Q: Who's your favorite chef?

A: Wylie Dufresne from WD-50! That's easy!


Q: How can someone be a mentor for young girls?

A: Try to be a modern role model and show alternative ways of being -- that we don't have to be the same and can be ourselves.


Q: Any advice on how to be Arden?

A: Keep it authentic!

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