Nicholas Kirkwood Expands With Men’s Line

1358198784-956c0 1358198785-015fc 1358198785-f24b7 1358198786-0565eNicholas Kirkwood exploded onto the women’s footwear scene in recent years with a distinct and cutting-edge aesthetic, anchored in the abstraction of geometry and its various applications. Yet the architectural elements in his designs aren’t as obvious as Pierre Hardy’s blocks, nor are his signatures as in-your-face as Christian Louboutin’sscarlet soles. What Kirkwood does is blend his shapes in a way that creates an instantly recognizable pump, most often so with bladed recessed platforms. It’s a formula that has been wildly successful in both retail and editorial circuits alike.

Over the course of the London men’s collections last week, Kirkwood debuted his first, and highly anticipated, men’s capsule collection. When asked how long it had been in the pipeline, Kirkwood (via mobile phone from London) laughs, “I started making men’s shoes for myself before women’s.” Indeed, there’s an inherent masculinity in his women’s offerings, in the sense that they’re robust and not by any means delicate. “But it’s been about a year since we’ve had the launch in development,” he adds. “It was a matter of looking for the right factory.”

Footwear manufacturing is no doubt a tricky arena. Kirkwood’s sculptural, ornate detailing (see Alexa Chung at last year’s British Fashion Awards) requires the highest quality of production processes. From the look of it, his men’s line meets the threshold — think classic derby shapes, but with “applications that are mutated,” he says. Gold-studded chevrons adorn an otherwise black pair of wingtips, likewise a chukka boot. For those into fancier footwork, Kirkwood showed a series of slip-ons in tangerine and blood-orange zigzags, with the rest of the lineup rendered in a metallic sheen. “The [shoes are] a bit classic,” he says, “but with materials playing together.”

Kirkwood has also often collaborated with clothing labels for their respective catwalk shows, most notably creating Rodarte’s candle-wax heels of yester-season. He’s hinted at doing the same with a men’s label, saying he’s been approached by a couple, though he wouldn’t reveal who.

When questioned about his sources of inspiration, Kirkwood remains obtuse. “It’s more about the line, and how the lines intersect with each other.” Above all, though, the designer isn’t keen to rest on his laurels. “I want it to be interesting, and I want to keep challenging myself.”




  1. Terri

    Wow these shoes are amazing, wish I could wear them! This is a really great piece of writing too, really great to read 🙂 xx

  2. Pingback: Nicholas Kirkwood’s Men’s Shoe Collection | Lux Life By NY Shoe Diva

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