It's a big moment for footwear designer Jonathan Kelsey, who's spent most of his career working behind the scenes, most recently as an in-house designer for Jimmy Choo, but also for Gina, Cacharel, Giles and Russian designer Igor Chapurin.
For fall, Kelsey will make his debut for Mulberry, just one year after unveiling his namesake collection.
Kelsey has drawn up five styles for the brand — a riding boot, an ankle boot, a shoe boot, a pump and a flat shoe — all of which will bow Feb. 14 during the Mulberry presentations.
"We love Jonathan's styles and he's a good fit for the brand. The models are based on his lasts — and have been adapted to Mulberry using the colors of the season," said Lisa Montague, Mulberry's chief operating officer, pointing to a palette of lilac, fuchsia, gunmetal, coffee and black.
The Kelsey-Mulberry venture is for two seasons, although Montague said she already has further plans in mind for the English designer, who got to know Mulberry through his first cousin Stuart Vevers, Mulberry's design director.
Kelsey's footwear is made in Italy and has a retro feel. His signature is a chestnut brown, vegetable-dyed sole. He's also known for his cone heels, thick wooden soles and strong, architectural toe shapes, which he describes as resembling the bow of a cruise ship.
"I wanted to develop a style that wasn't sexy and sparkly — but wasn't vintage either," said Kelsey from his tiny, split-level studio in London's Primrose Hill. "I wanted it modern, sexy, cool and intelligent."
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast