LONDON — Alexander McQueen put his heart, his soul — and his own left foot —into his new collection of footwear for Puma. On Monday, the designer, a self-confessed sneaker junkie, revealed the details of his collection, right down to the veins, bones and tendons.
"I was inspired by the look of the foot, the muscles and skeletal structure," said McQueen during a breakfast press conference at Puma's headquarters here.
"Of course, because it's designed by me, there's also a sick and macabre twist to the designs," he added, with a laugh.
McQueen, who owns 450 pairs of sneakers, said the deal with Puma was not only a natural move, but also a means of building his brand on a more commercial level. The Alexander McQueen Puma line will launch in 200 to 250 stores worldwide in January, including McQueen's flagships in London, New York and Milan.
Prices for the line, which features 15 models, range from 180 euros, or $218 at current exchange, to 240 euros, or $290. The deal is not a license, but rather a long-term partnership.
McQueen said he loves speaking to a whole new audience, and the project has helped him grow as a designer.
"It's taught me that my creativity can stay at any level. It's made me a better designer, because I'm covering a whole other part of the market," said McQueen, who was dressed in a crisp white dress shirt, jeans and a pair of one of his new My Left Foot Bound sneakers for Puma.
The model features an imprint of McQueen's left foot inside the sole. The designer cast his own foot in a vacuum mold, and the impression has been suspended in a transparent rubber sole that's visible when the sneaker's turned over.
"Making it nearly killed me. It tore the hairs out of my legs," he admitted with a laugh. The laces of the shoe are woven through leather along the length of the shoe, in a direct reference to McQueen's dress designs.
Other marquee models in the collection include the NY Running Shoe Laser, an elegant model for women featuring delicate, laser-cut latticework on the last. The latticework — and the fine mesh underlay — is meant to mirror the maze of human veins.
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