CalArts Alumni Magazine

Paul Kaufman ’76

Paul Kaufman ’76 reports, “Awakened by the ‘ping’ of a message arriving, I rolled over and saw the white/black fur Chelsea boot I had designed some years back, toe-tapping. Rubbing sleep out my eyes, I wondered who had spent their time creating this cute meme for Instagram. But then, the shot panned out revealing the Time magazine cover—someone must be messing with me! I’ve been designing shoes for almost 40 years and have had some magazine covers and amazing artists wearing my boots, but Lil Nas X on Time magazine!? Damn … and perfect for my goal of pushing boundaries: a queer, black, country rapper defying all expectations and restrictions. 2019 has been full of surprises and disappointments, but always reinforcing the path of independence I’ve chosen. Regardless of the difficulty that path brings, always facing challenges and somehow overcoming, expanding, and learning! I opened a shop in downtown LA five years ago, and this week I open my second shop in LA, 15 years after closing six shops and swearing I would never, ever have a retail shop again. Cheers to never believing in never!”