Paris Fashion Week: 5 Questions With Shoe Designer Nicholas Kirkwood
The British footwear designer talks Beyonce, 'Stranger Things' and how Marty McFly inspired him to make shoes.
A-list shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood, whose statement heels are a favorite of Sarah Jessica Parker, Naomi Watts and Shailene Woodley, debuted his spring/summer 2017 collection during Paris Fashion Week. A mirrored maze bedecked with red rocks, sand floors and a color-changing LED ceiling set the stage for his presentation (think David Bowie’s "Space Oddity" meets Sedona, Ariz.). A standout was the metallic, pointy-square pumps with gradient crystal heels (“One of my favorites,” says Kirkwood).
Here, the 36-year-old talks to The Hollywood Reporter about everything from design inspiration to the fashion crowd’s obsession with Netflix’s sci-fi drama Stranger Things.
What was the inspiration for your spring/summer 2017 collection?
I went to Arizona for Christmas and New Year’s and really absorbed the atmosphere — giant skies including mornings and evenings with some really amazing red tones. I implemented some of the colors of the sunsets into the heels of the shoes. I also captured the cactus flowers, whether it’s in the embroidery or a print. And I liked the idea of using some of the crystals and natural healing concepts — you’ll notice a lot of crystal heels in the collection.
You recently designed Pac-Man shoes — is there anything else from the '80s that you'd love to turn into a collection at some point?
There’s always a bit of '80s in my designs — and in me. I love graphic lines and a sharp femininity that’s very empowering.
What's your favorite Nicholas Kirkwood red-carpet moment?
It’s not necessarily red-carpet, but Beyonce has been wearing my shoes a lot lately. She has the pearl flats as well as a pair from the current season that we call the "Graffiti" style [a bold floral platform], which not a lot of people could wear, but Beyonce totally pulls it off!
What's your favorite shoe moment from film, television or music?
My favorite movie moment, which actually inspired me to make shoes, was Back to the Future Part II. I saw it when I was around 10 years old and I was totally impressed with the self-lacing sneakers. I remember going upstairs to my room to draw my own version — I sketched shoes that looked like an accordion that could expand to fit any size. I probably didn’t draw another pair of shoes for the next 10 years, but it got me thinking very early on.
What are you currently streaming on TV?
Stranger Things is amazing — I watched it all in one day. I think I finished around three o’clock in the morning. … I just kept saying one more, one more and before I knew it I had watched every single episode. It’s totally addictive. I also thought The Night Manager was quite good.