Walter Steiger is gearing up to introduce an entirely new construction for his upcoming spring footwear collection — his most extreme to date.
But he’s not worried about the response.
“It’s crazy, but it will be accepted,” said the designer.
His yet-to-be released silhouette, which he calls the Unicorn, stands at a vertiginous 17 centimeters, or 6.69 inches. It possesses the brand’s signature “curved” heel, but it’s been updated to appear more conical in shape. At the front end is a corresponding platform of almost two inches, made of an ivory, tusklike material with metallic accents.
Reflecting on the seismic changes in fashion since he launched in 1967, Steiger said, “If you didn’t have the right thing for the right season, you were wrong.
“You had to make something new, but if you did something that was ‘too much’ you weren’t considered a ‘fine designer,’” he said, sitting alongside his son and general manager of the brand for North America, Paul Steiger, at a bar in the West Village during a weeklong visit to New York. “Back then, two inches was a high heel. It’s fantastic how the mentality has changed.”
In town to prepare for the Paris-based company’s major wholesale push in the U.S., the two visited with customers at Bergdorf Goodman to celebrate the launch of the collection on the designer shoe floor. Following the line’s wholesale launch in the U.S. with Barneys New York last summer, this is the first time Bergdorf’s has carried the line in a decade. Jeffrey in the Meatpacking District has also begun selling the fall line, which retails from $650 for a basic pump to $7,000 to $10,000 for shoes comprising Swarovski Elements or crocodile. Hirshleifers in Manhasset, N.Y., will begin selling Steiger’s collection later this year.
The 35-year-old brand’s 13th freestanding store opened in London in May, and the shoes are carried in about 75 doors worldwide, from Lane Crawford in Hong Kong to Tsum in Moscow. Steiger’s flagship on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris opened in 1974.
The brand is seeing the strongest growth in Eastern Europe and the Middle East — and Paul Steiger maintains that wholesale volume on a global scale has increased by about 20 percent a season for the past three seasons.
In the U.S., Paul hopes to see a 40 percent increase in the wholesale category as business with key retail partners commences.
The brand just showed its resort collection — but it’s spring that Walter is most keyed-up about. Usually one for clean lines and simplicity, the designer said he focused on materials and color, such as pastel purple, blue, pink and more-saturated versions of the same hues. Spring will also feature metallic straps and animal-inspired or embroidery-effect prints.
A renovation of the brand’s Park Avenue store at East 55th Street in Manhattan also is in the works, as father and son are keen on the brand’s only freestanding store in the U.S. to be in line with the concept just developed for the London door. The same idea — rooted in Walter’s favorite interior design motifs, such as mirrors — was also implemented in the Geneva store, which saw a redesign this month.
Paul added that each shoe in the display is showcased in a reflective setting, displayed in front of a mirror, about 12 inches square in size.
“The use of lighting and geometric shapes creates a futuristic aura and emphasizes the volume and depth of the space. The new wall, where the shoes are exposed, is the most important element of the updated design concept,” Paul said, noting the installation was inspired by fine jewelry boxes.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)