Shoe designer Brian Atwood, looks like a cross between Colin Farrell and George Clooney – HAWT! It’s hard to say what I am more mesmerized by – his dreamy eyes or his sexy pumps? A favourite with the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna, and soon to be featured on the most lucrative feet in the biz, Miss Carrie Bradshaw – the ex-model cum designer is on top of his game. So we met him in an oversized changeroom to talk foot-to-foot:
Tell us about the inspiration behind your Spring 2010 collection?
It was definitely about embellishment and using pretty beautiful colours – lilac, pink, turquoise. Giving them gorgeous proportions and also transparency….they seem to be floating in air; it’s a trick of the eye.
I especially love the pink heels with the studs all over.
Yes, well, I am always thinking, ‘how can we make this interesting and do it differently then everyone else?” So I thought…what about underneath? It was a chore – but we made it happen.
Sex and the City – we are crazed – tell us which shoe Carrie will wear.
The lilac one [with studs] is in Sex and the City – that’s the one Carrie is wearing, There are five or six other styles that we’ve done for them for their press tour.
So Brian, what is ‘sexy’ to you?
Confidence; really feeling good in one’s skin is definitely sexy. It’s not about wearing the highest heel or the shortest skirt – but what’s inside you that you project. Be able to laugh at yourself, please don’t take yourself too seriously. (he chuckles)
Do you have a style icon:
Lauren Hutton. Beautiful women who are relatable to a lot of different types of women – society, trekking in the dirt in Peru. Down to earth is what’s important.
After your modeling career, you began designing for Versace – what key lessons did you take away from that experience?
Never compromise what you believe in. Gianni told me “You’re here to learn – never compromise your integrity whether people think it’s vulgar – if you believe in it – it’s your creation – back it up and people will change.”
You split your time between NYC and Milan – what do you love/miss from each city?
In New York, there’s always something going on – it’s just really bustling 24/7. The hustle is what I miss, the constant rush of the city. In Milan, I have a gorgeous studio and apartment. I go there to work and create. At night I go to dinners – but really focus on what I have to do – and that’s the time I can really concentrate. And the Italian food.
What is the most fun aspect of being a shoe designer?
It’s fantasy – you have that power to put a smile on a woman’s face….that whole Cinderella factor, it’s magical.
What is the greatest challenge?
Making sure women can walk really well in high heels. Practice, practice, practice – with any shoe designer, you are always looking for new ways to be original. Shoes are so small that you have to really figure out how you are going to give that energy into such a small object and make it amazing. What’s going to make it “snap” [he snaps]. You can’t over think – just go with your instinct.
What qualities do you admire most in a woman?
I definitely think confidence, taking care of yourself, knowing what looks good on you , not trying to be a ten year old. There’s a certain way to carry yourself and women who do that in an elegant and chic way always have my full attention. And a great sense of humour!
What does a perfect Saturday look like to you?
In Milan I’ll watch movies in my TV room and call it a day… and have dinner with someone. I’ve been travelling every other week, to be in one place is a luxury.
In New York…go to the vintage markets and walk the dog.
Are there any shoe myths you’d like to debunk?
High doesn’t necessarily mean sexy – a low heel can be very sexy. It’s about the lines, the cut, the toe-cleavage, the silhouette.
And with that – we took one last long look at the gorgeous shoes, priced at over $800, imagined what our toe cleavage would look like and left The Bay like Cinderella….without the glass slippers – or in this case, the Loca Lilac Studded pumps. Sigh.