Maybe you haven’t heard of luxury shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood, but you’ve probably seen his work without realizing it. Celebrities like Kirsten Dunst, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ellie Goulding and Freida Pinto have been lucky enough to wear his styles as of late. Though his name has just started becoming more popular in the last few years, Kirkwood has worked hard from a ripe young age to become a top footwear designer.
Kirkwood got his start in fashion while attending the Fine Art foundation course at London's Central Saint Martins. From there, he was offered a job with renowned hat and handbag designer Philip Treacy when he was just 19 years old— quite the foot in the door to the fashion world. Obviously, Kirkwood had a natural-born talent, which he refined during the five years he worked with Treacy at his London store. He enrolled at Cordwainers, the London School of Fashion, after realizing that there was a gap in the market for statement shoes that were in the same league as Treacy’s hats and Alexander McQueen’s clothing; however he dropped out after one year and returned to work with Treacy.
He launched his first shoe collection for Spring/Summer 2005, for which he raised money by designing and producing shoes for Ghost and John Rocha’s fashion shows. Like his peers Treacy and McQueen, he instantly became known for the architectural quality of his designs and his innovative use of exotic materials. His use of devoré satin, hand-printed suede and leather, degradé fabrics, python, shaved stingray, laser-cut mirror leather, cobra and rubberized leather combined with Kirkwood’s exquisite designs and execution result in shoe collections with up to four-digit price points.
Kirkwood’s Spring/Summer collection for 2012 is elegantly vibrant with styles that take on surprisingly chic shapes and forms. “A recent trip to Bali inspired the undertones of the collection with a lighter and more feminine feel,” Kirkwood told British Vogue of the footwear that could be considered wearable pieces of art. “A spring garden of bold prints and colors form the basis of it— which is adorned with ornamental decoration.” Elegant unraveling bows, beads and pearls, and flirty fringe enrich several of the gorgeous styles offered by Kirkwood in this collection.
Though he’s known for his extravagant style and daring stilettos, Kirkwood accommodates this line for a variety of customers, moving slightly away from the platform and towards lightness in weight and silhouettes. In an attempt to broaden his clientele, the designer whose name is synonymous with intense edginess, is offering lower heel heights of 2? and 3⅓ inches and even a flat slipper to make sure there’s something for everyone.
To view the full collection, visit NicholasKirkwood.com.
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