Nicholas Kirkwood, Designer, Nicholas Kirkwood, discusses the future for his global brand.
An alumnus of prestigious design schools Central Saint Martins and Cordwainers, Kirkwood's eponymous collection launched in spring 2005.
The collection was comprised of architecturally inspired pieces with a blend of genres subverting the relationship between femininity and modernity. This won Kirkwood the attention of Grace Jones and Cecilia Dean of celebrated art-house publication Visionaire as well as a design stint at Chloé. Craftsmanship plays an integral role in every collection. It is this perfection of craftsmanship itself that has a stylistic value highlighted by the use of geometric forms and strong clean lines, all inspired by structural shapes. The shoes are free of excessive decorative elements, the focus always being on innovation of form.
Seasonal trends appear in Kirkwood's work unintentionally and are always at the zeitgeist rather than following or emulating it. SS 08's collection is full of signature vertiginous heels either in a stiletto pump with its cone heel slimmed down to give a fervent look, or for maximum impact, in extended cigarette heels with a backwards-slanted platform on the sole. Wedges are open-toed, covered with laser cut mirrored leather and uppers of crinkle patent or rubberized suede. Almond-toed lizard strappy sling-backs have large mirror-Perspex buckles giving them a fresh twist. The collection has already won him the prestigious AltaRoma Vogue Italia award for accessories design in July and the commendation of American Vogue's Editor at Large André Leon-Talley.
Kirkwood has collaborated with Swarovski resulting in a sub-collection of black evening shoes, all featuring a sliced into heel with a large black sphere-cut crystal suspended in it. A black fabric formed of 100s of mini Swarovski crystals contrasts with lizard and satin. An open-toed, cigarette-heeled sling back platform features a new technique of slicing into the leather at the vamp with a metallic insert, finished with intricate stitching, giving a fan-like effect which will be featured in an upcoming Swarovski exhibition in London.
The SS08 collection can be found at leading retailers worldwide including: Dover Street Market, Browns, Harvey Nichols, On Pedder, Coccodrillo, Le Bon Marche, Via Bus Stop, Maxfield, Podium and select others.